Recently my daughter arrived home for a visit. At the moment she is helping to get an organic farm up and running. As she timed her visit right after a farmer’s market I was the recipient of several pounds of produce! She brought sun gold tomatoes, another heirloom type of tomato, yellow squash, red and green bell peppers, cantaloupe, white eggplant, and an entire kitchen trash bag full of basil! If only I had thought to take pictures! It was quite the bounty and I wanted to make sure we either ate or shared it before it went bad. We managed to do both with just a little waste. I do have to admit, however, that a good amount of the beautiful purple basil had to go into the compost bin.
The white eggplant was the one item that I was unsure of how to use. I love growing eggplant, particularly the purple variety as it is so beautiful, but I haven’t cooked with it a lot. My sister-in-law suggested sautéing and adding an alfredo sauce. We did that earlier this summer with some of the slender purple eggplant I grew and we enjoyed it prepared that way. My friend Tish came up with another suggestion for the large white ones that Kara brought. Her suggestion was to slice in 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices, grill or roast, and then prepare a simple eggplant parmesan. We tried that and it was delicious, esp. after sitting for a day in the refrigerator.
I’ve mentioned before that it is important to eat a variety of vegetables. So let me encourage you to add some eggplant to your menu. According to what I’ve read eggplant is high in antioxidants, has a high vitamin (B vitamins) and mineral (particularly potassium) content, has lots of fiber, and has compounds useful in preventing colon cancer and heart disease.
To put this simple dish together prepare the eggplant by washing, slicing and then roasting or grilling. Layer with homemade marinara sauce (before I made my own I purchased Classico tomato basil. It had no added sugar and minimal additives and preservatives – I haven’t checked that recently, however), mozzarella, parmesan, and then adding a sprinkling of buttered bread crumbs on the top. Bake and eat! Delicious and easy!
Another way to enjoy eggplant is to slice, roast, and then add marinara and mozzarella cheese to each slice. Return to the oven for a few minutes until hot and cheese is melted. Sort of like a mini pizza.
Which would you like to try?
- Eggplant, any variety, sliced into 1 inch rounds of ovals, depending on shape of eggplant
- Organic olive oil
- Marinara sauce – homemade or purchased. Classico tomato basil was my previous favorite.
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Buttered bread crumbs (cube bread and drizzle with melted butter or olive oil)
- Grill or roast eggplant, after drizzling with olive oil.
- Oil casserole dish of choice.
- Place a small amount of sauce on bottom of casserole.
- Cover with grilled eggplant.
- Cover with marinara sauce.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Make as many layers as desired (at least two) and add bread crumbs.
- Bake at 350 for 20 – 30 minutes until done. May need to cover if crumbs begin to brown too much.
- Freezes well.