Sunday, July 18, 2010
Eggplant is a difficult proposition on it's own, it needs a friend or two.
It ia great absorber of flavours and goes well with a range of foods in a variety of cooking styles.
You can find eggplant in middle eastern and asian cooking.
When cooked properly it had the soft texture of eggs (apparently).
Some recipes advocate sprinkling the slices of eggplant with salt to draw out the bitter juices, but I never bother!
So here are just a few ways with this purple veg!
1. Baba Ganoush
2 eggplants (roasted and skinned)
Juice of 2 small lemons
3 tablespoons Tahini paste
1 -2 large garlic cloves
good drizzle olive oil
Blitz it all up in the blender - add salt to taste
To roast eggplant pierce the skin a couple of times and put them on a baking tray and roast until all pooped (about half an hour or so)
2. Moussaka. The classic Greek dish.
Reminds me of summers spent in the Greek islands, ouzo and retsina and the smell of the pine trees.
However since pure moussaka is made with lamb, and I am now vegetarian, you will have to find your own recipe for this.
There are veggie versions, with beans or tofu - but I won't go there!
3. My favorite is a recipe from "The Complete Wholefood Cuisine" by Nikki and David Goldbeck which I have had for years and I'm sure isn't available anymore.
Barbequed eggplant and lentils.
It has nothing to do with being put on the barbie, but refers to the BBQ sauce type thing.
1 cup lentils
2 cups water
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped tinned tomatoes
2 tbs wine or cider vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 tbs honey
2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
Cook lentils in water until soft, about 30 mins.
Cut eggplant into 1" cubes. Place in a paper bag with the flour and shake until eggplant is coated.
Heat oil in heavy pan, add eggplant and cook for about 10 mins stirring to brown all sides.
Add all the other ingredients, except the lentils, bring to gentle boil, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 mins.
Add lentils and simmer until everything is cooked.
Serve over rice, pasta or toasted buns.
4. Another classic, this one I think is french.
It is basically a stew of eggplants, capsicum and zuccini.
(Or aubergine, peppers and courgettes!)
Plus onions, garlic and a good olive oil!
5. Eggplant Parmesan.
There are many versions of this popular dish.
The one I love is when you slice the eggplant into rounds, dip in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs and fry.
Then layer with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, top with parmesan and bake until bubbly.
I also have a different version, but I havent made it for years, and I cant find the recipe. sorry!
Eggplants are a great receptacle for stuffing.
Cut in half lengthways and hollow out.
Fill with your favorite stuffing and bake.
7. In anything.
We add eggplant to our tomato sauce for pasta.
It goes great in curries and stews.