Eggplant, Love it or Leave it, You Decide

Eggplant

Eggplant. Love it or Leave it!

I am learning to love it.  The name eggplant, rather than its true name aubergine,  refers to the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars which were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs.

The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Traditionally, recipes suggest salting, rinsing and draining of the sliced fruit to soften it and to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking, but mainly to remove the bitterness. Some modern varieties – including those large, purple varieties do not need this treatment. The fruit is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed. The fruit flesh is smooth and the many seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so peeling is not required.

It may also be roasted in its skin until charred, so the pulp can be removed and blended with other ingredients, such as lemon, tahini, and garlic, as in the Middle Eastern dish Baba Ghanoush and the similar Greek dish Melitzanosalata. Grilled, mashed and mixed with onion, tomato and spices makes an Indian dish called Baingan Ka Bhartha or Gojju, as well in chutneys, and curries. A mix of roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, chopped onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery and spices is called Zacusca or Ajvar in the Balkan countries. The fruit can also be stuffed with meat, rice or other fillings and then baked. It can also be found in Chinese cuisine, braised, stewed, steamed, or stuffed.

This recipe was handed down to me from the Amish, who have been enjoying Eggplant for many years.  Some prefer eat eggplant over any other vegetable out there.

CRISPY EGGPLANT

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper
  • 2 Eggs, Farm Fresh of course
  • flour
  • salt as desired

Peel the eggplant and slice into thin 1/8 inch disks.  Crack the two eggs into a soup plate.  Take the seeds out of the jalapeño pepper and grate approximately one half of it.  Add to the eggs.  Thicken with flour until you have a thin batter.  Dip the sliced eggplant into the batter and fry until crisp in olive oil.  Enjoy them with homemade bread, butter and tomatoes.  For a variation, replace the eggs with olive oil, omit the flour and grill.

 

A Note From Ana:  That eggplant recipe is fantastic!!!!!  Add a little fresh basil when it’s done for another level of flavour!

Last summer I experimented with and enjoyed an Eggplant Dip or Baba Ghanoush   https://triplecordcsaorganicproduce.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/roasted-eggplant-and-garlic-dip/

Eggplant, Love it or Leave it, You Decide!

Lady Locavore

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2 Responses to Eggplant, Love it or Leave it, You Decide

  1. Joanne says:

    I have been cooking egg plant for years on its own and more recently as part of a veggie lasagne. This recipe was a first for me. I opted to leave out the jalapeno. It was great! and it gave me two meals. Thanks. My romanian friend chars and bakes eggplant – on the Barbeque when she can- and then scoops out the soft interior which she mixes with mayonnaise, chopped onion, a little garlic and a few other things which i don’t recall. They eat it most in the summer as a side dish or a spread for crackers or bread. I did not cherish it the way that she does but it was an interesting change. I use it in ratatouille too. JOanne W

  2. Catia says:

    Yesterday I cooked the eggplant we got in our box this week.
    I do the same type of recipe but in a different way. I make a thick batter of eggs, flower, a little bit of milk and salt and pepper. Then I dip the slices of eggplant in the batter and fry it in olive oil.

    The kids absolutely LOVED this dish, but then again, anything “tempura” is yummy 🙂

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