How to Cook with Eggplant
In my opinion, there is no whole food so beautiful as eggplant. But if you weren’t raised eating it, you may be at a loss for what to do with it once you bring it home. Don’t worry; eggplant is both delicious and easy to add to your cooking repertoire. And thank goodness for that, since eggplant is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and potassium, while also offering folate, vitamins K, B6, B3, and C. Eggplant also contains nasunin, which protects brain cell membranes from damage, plus plenty of antioxidants.
Tips for Cooking with Eggplant
* Older (bigger) eggplants have a tough skin that is best removed before cooking or eating. Try to purchase younger (smaller) eggplants, from which the skin needn’t be removed.
* Older eggplants may also be slightly bitter. However, if you sprinkle salt on the flesh and let it sit for about an hour, the flesh will begin watering, which releases that bitter flavor. Wash, then pat dry, and proceed with the recipe. (Salting eggplant also firms up the vegetable, which makes it not soak up as much oil during cooking.)
* Unless treating the eggplant for bitterness, cut the vegetable just before cooking.
* To cut an eggplant, first cut off the top, where the leaves are. Peel or cut away the skin, if needed. For most recipes, you’ll then slice the eggplant into ½ to 1 inch rounds. If desired, cube the rounds into smaller pieces. Be sure to remove any inner flesh that looks bruised or dark.
Fantastic Eggplant Recipes
Roasted Eggplant takes just 20 minutes to cook and a handful of common ingredients. Even easier is Grilled Eggplant, which uses only an eggplant, a little olive oil, and seasonings.
Turn an eggplant into a meal with Eggplant in Tomato-Wine Sauce, which includes pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, wine, and seasonings. Of course, there’s also Better-For-You Eggplant Parmigiana, which is a healthy twist on the classic eggplant dish.
Eggplant Caviar with Tomato Sauce is an elegant dish; even though the ingredients are simple, it’s sure to impress guests. Eggplant and goat cheese ravioli with thyme sauce is scrumptious and ideal for meals both casual and impressive.
For an especially classy meal, try Lamb square cut with eggplant fricassee or the gourmet Eggplant mille-feuille with red peppers cream.
If you have lots of zucchini in your garden, try Zucchini and eggplants cream with saffron.
For the ultimate in simple home food, Athenian Pizza combines eggplant with traditional pizza toppings and a pita bread crust.