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Rosie x

Eggplants and Aubergines

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If they are large enough try this:

Cut off each end if the eggplant

Slice thinly on mandolin longways (or use knife if you are skilled).

You should end up with thin roughly rectangular planks

Season each slice on both sides with salt, pepper, and EVOO.

Grill (grill pan is fine) on each side until good charred grill marks appear.

Set aside to cool enough to handle.

Place a dab of soften goat cheese with herbs on one end and roll to thickness of a cigar.

Place on baking sheet.

Right before service sprinkle with some parm reggiano and run under the broiler for a minute or so until hot.

Serve with tapenade, marinara, or any other sauce you like and some crusty bread.

After reading this thread I made this last night along with lasagna, sauteed zucchini, bean, lentil and vegetable soup and crusty garlic bread. It was a good reason to pull out the mandolin so I could get very even slices. The slices were brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then grilled with some smoking wood in the outside grill. I added finely diced red bell pepper, garlic and shallots to the goat cheese and added a little spear of asparagus prior to rolling. The roll ups were about 2 inches long, looked great and were a interesting addition to the meal. Thanks for the suggestion

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Have you ever heard of "Zacusca" ?

It is a very delicious eggplant spread. Could be easily used as dip for chips.

I've taken couple of these jars to parties and they all loved it, even people who claimed they dislike eggplant.

It is a big batch but keeps well canned... up to 1-2 years, or up to 1 year in the freezer.

63442750O833303911.jpg

If you are interested I will give the recipe. However... it is time consuming but the result is rewarding.

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I love eggplant but for some reason I don't cook it very often. Last week I made a eggplant lasagna. Basically a traditional style lasagna with layers of breaded eggplant between a top and bottom layer of noodles.

It's wonderful grilled as part of an Antipasto Plate Or as an appetizer/first course in puff pastry.

63044911-M.jpg

Individual Eggplant Lasagna

10315210-M.jpg

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Have you ever heard of "Zacusca" ?

It is a very delicious eggplant spread. Could be easily used as dip for chips.

I've taken couple of these jars to parties and they all loved it, even people who claimed they dislike eggplant.

It is a big batch but keeps well canned... up to 1-2 years, or up to 1 year in the freezer.

63442750O833303911.jpg

If you are interested I will give the recipe. However... it is time consuming but the result is rewarding.

By all means, please post the recipe!


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My favorite eggplant dish is baingan bhartha (spelling may vary) - smoky Indian curried eggplant.

Blacken the eggplant's skin all over (over coals is best, but a gas burner or broiler will do). Let them steam in their skins until cool enough to handle, then peel and chop the flesh.

Fry a paste of onion, garlic and ginger until nice and darkened, add spices, then the eggplant, and stew until the mixture thickens and the eggplant cooks into a puree.

Finish with garam masala and a squeeze of lemon.

The key is the initial roasting of the eggplants to get a deep, smoky background flavor to support the spices. Yum.

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Zacusca

Picture above.

We like to roast the vegetables, tomatoes included... on a flat tin over open fire. They get that natural smocky taste. A BBQ grill could be used for this tasc covered by a flat tin.

You could make smaller batch first, but I can bet it will go so fast, you'll be sorry you didn't make the whole batch.

750 ml oil (I like olive oil, but you could use any oil)

1 1/2 kg (3 lb) onion, chopped very fine

2 kg (4 lb) eggplant (roasted, peeled and let to drain the juice in a colander then chop very fine)

1 kg (2 lb) red bell pepper (roasted, peeled and removed the core and seeds let to drain the juice in a colander, chopped fine)

2 kg (4 lb) tomatoes (blanched for 5 min. peel and chop very fine or crushed by hand)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (only if you like it a little bit spicy)

6 Bay leaves

After you prepared all the vegetables as above mentioned, place oil in a large pot let warm up add and saute the onion until glossy. Add the rest of the ingredients, taste for salt and pepper. Leave on the top stove, until comes to a boil, mix occasionally not to stick to the bottom.

Place the whole pot in the oven and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 2 1/3 – 3 hours.

There will be oil at the top mix well and add to jars. The oil will keep the spread sealed. Also could be used to marinate feta cheese.

This could be canned, or could be freeze up to 6 months.

Serve plain, spread on fresh slice of bread, or with chips. Perfect for lunch or school snack. Very filling and so yummy cannot stop eating.

My preference is to serve it with fresh bread and feta cheese.

Enjoy!

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Thanks MamaC for your recipe. I am making it today as part of a multi-course "eggplant party" for someone who just finished his Ph.D. in plant science, with his thesis on, what else (?) EGGPLANT!

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OK, here goes, lets see if this works:

gallery_29586_1091_897.jpg

Above is a photo of makhuea proh; the kind that is usually cooked in curries (but can be eaten raw with nam phrik, chili pastes).

gallery_29586_1091_709.jpg

Above are makhuea phuang (bunch eggplants), also used in curries, or often raw and pounded up in nam phrik kapi.

gallery_29586_1091_6764.jpg

Makhuea yaaw (long eggplant).  Often grilled, or sliced in some (often Muslim-style) curries.

gallery_29586_1091_8926.jpg

And finally a couple kinds of tiny eggplants usually eaten raw with nam phrik.

Hope this helps!

Austin

Hi Austin and everyone,

I have questions on Big (3" round, 3-4" long)Round purple eggplant..

When you roast the eggplant until done...does it get so soft and watery when done?

I normally work with the long eggplant ( as pictured by Austin, that's kind of u)...and it is so soft and tender...

But with the purple one...it does not seem to become tender.

Is this normal...or i need to cook more?

SOS :smile:

iii :smile:

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I have a few white eggplants growing but I am not sure what they are used for. -----

Jason Perlow -- Director eGullet.com Community

Jason, use them just like the black ones. They make a nice color contrast although ther skins do go a bit yellow when cooked.

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I'm amazed all this wonderful eggplant knowledge and delicious sounding recipies yet nobody has mentioned one of the simpliest yet most tasty ways to prepare eggplant.

This recipe is adopted from Paula Wolfert's last book. Cut off the stem end of the eggplant. Cut garlic cloves into this wedges. Poke holes, 5-8 depending upon size, around each eggplant. Insert the garlic slices into the holes. (I use an oyster knife for the hole poking as they're broad & stiff, but any knife will do.

Rub the eggplant all over with olive oil. Wrap each eggplant in foil to seal. Place in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.

When done break seal, let cool a bit then slice lengthways into quarters or eights.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

If you want to jazz this up then jullien some red bell peppers. Saute them gently in a frying pan with some olive oil. Its best to cover the pan until the peppers are soft then remove the lid & turn up the heat to finish off. A little blackening around the edges looks good.

Make a lattice arrangement of the eggplant & drap the pepper strips over. The tastes blend well & the presentation is nice.

To raise the stakes even more. Make a mild aoli. Add piment de Eschabe (or paprica mixed with some cayenne, but be careful.) Serve the sauce on the side of the eggplant & pepper dish.

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One of my favorite eggplant preparations I call "Summer Eggplant Parmesan". Place eggplant slices from mid-sized purple eggplants on a broiler pan or jelly roll pan and brush with olive oil. Broil until it turns brown, then flip, oil and brown the other side. Saute slivered onions and bell peppers, any color, in olive oil and season. Layer eggplant rounds, thick slices of garden tomato, onion-pepper mixture and fresh basil leaves, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go, about 4 layers beginning and ending with eggplant. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and bake at 325 for about an hour. Add cheese later if you wish a barely melted layer on top. The peel is rather hard to cut, so I sometimes peel part or all of the eggplant.

Everyone who eats it begs for more. I also make a very tasty, chunky caponata and serve slightly warm, as a vegetable. It can be chopped to serve with bread.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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For lunch today I am eating Georgian Rice Salad with Eggplant and Sour Cherries which you can find on the web site for Najmieh Batmanglij. All of you with vegan friends or experimenting with becoming a vegetarian for a few months, take note: it can be made completely without any animal products and is utterly delicious.

A couple of notes about the recipe:

1) Ghee

The author made a large batch of the salad at home to serve at my local market at the same time that she demonstrated it for the crowds. I recommend doing what she did at home if you're not a vegan: cook with spiced ghee for the rice and combine olive oil and ghee when sauteing the eggplant. I suspect the published recipe is missing a few things she sometimes uses since the rice was a bright yellow (tumeric? not saffron) and the flavor of the ghee was present. I would also saute the rice in the ghee first, coating the grains before cooking it. My own batch is made exclusively with olive oil and I miss the color and a little bit of something else.

2) Sour cherry syrup

The snazzy French cherry syrup at Whole Foods didn't look right and seemed to be sugar with natural flavor added, $5.39 a bottle. So I just bought 1/4 lb. cheap sweetened dried sour cherries, boiled them up. Strained them. Added sugar and boiled that down till it became syrupy and strained that. Fine. Reserved my good sour cherries for the salad.

3) Do not cut eggplant into 1/2 cubes. Look at photo here. 1/2 cubes quickly turn into mush. With fresh small eggplants from the market, you could probably do without the water. Do follow the instructions re coating the eggplant with the spices; it's a great trick. It will seem TOO hot after cooking, but will be spot on when incorporated into the salad. I would salt the eggplant while it's cooking and leave salt out of dressing.

4) Half the recipe will feed four. The full recipe will feed Kansas.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I love Aubergines - when other people cook them.

Don't get me wrong, there are a few things I can succesfully cook with them, If i'm slicing them thinly and chargrilling them that normally works ok, or making a roasted aubergine puree. But whenever I try and cook something like some of the excellent indian aubergine dishes I have tried they always come out wrong.

I finally figured it out, it's the (usually correct) opinion that you shouldn't overcook vegetables. For aubergines you really need to cook the hell out of them. I made an aubergine and spinach curry last night. Started with copious amounts of oil which helps things too but the main point was that I started watching football and cooked it for about 3 times as long as I would normally (Not the spinach - that went in at the end). The aubergines ended up soft, juicy and had absorbed all the flavour from the spices, not spongy, chewy and bitter as they often end up. I think it helped I had a long thin aubergine rather than the bulbous ones I normally get as well.

Any other top tips for Aubergines?

And I know, what am I doing cooking aubergines in the UK in early March but it was a perky looking specimen and I tried to forget about the food miles!


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I love Aubergines - when other people cook them.

Don't get me wrong, there are a few things I can succesfully cook with them, If i'm slicing them thinly and chargrilling them that normally works ok, or making a roasted aubergine puree. But whenever I try and cook something like some of the excellent indian aubergine dishes I have tried they always come out wrong.

I finally figured it out, it's the (usually correct) opinion that you shouldn't overcook vegetables. For aubergines you really need to cook the hell out of them. I made an aubergine and spinach curry last night. Started with copious amounts of oil which helps things too but the main point was that I started watching football and cooked it for about 3 times as long as I would normally (Not the spinach - that went in at the end).  The aubergines ended up soft, juicy and had absorbed all the flavour from the spices, not spongy, chewy and bitter as they often end up. I think it helped I had a long thin aubergine rather than the bulbous ones I normally get as well.

Any other top tips for Aubergines?

And I know, what am I doing cooking aubergines in the UK in early  March but it was a perky looking  specimen and I tried to forget about the food miles!

The "Silver spoon" italian recipe book has lots of lovely aubergine recipes in it including a great one for parmigiana which i will try to ammend and post later, well worth a shot as it was delicious.


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Some people are sensitive to the bitterness (almost a "hotness") in aubergines. My Mom taught me at a young age that aubergines need to be deep fried to lose that unpleasant (to some) characteristic.

The possibilities are endless:

- dice and fry - then add to pasta sauce

- cut into lengths and fry - then stuff with basil and fresh mozarella, roll and bake topped with tomato sauce and parmigiano

- or make Moussaka

- cut into rounds, place a piece of fresh mozarella and basil, then do an eggwash and deep fry - golden eggplant sandwiches

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While I'll happily eat aubergines/eggplant any way you set it in front of me, my absolute favorite way is to take thin, battered, fried slices and use them as the "noodles" in a chunky veggie lasagna. Mmm, mmm, good.

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Eggplant,

My favorite is Rosa Bianco sliced thick, salted, drained and then pressed to a cardboard consistancy. Then slather on a garlic, balsamic, EVOO paste with a 1:2:3 parts ratio. Finally, broil about 8 minutes on a side to a nice brown color. (Complements of Cook's Illustrated)

We also roast small whole eggplant at very high heat until soft. Split in half at the table and drizzle with EVOO and good salt.

Then there is baba ganouj!

Wonderful flavors!

Tim

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Eggplant,

My favorite is Rosa Bianco sliced thick, salted, drained and then pressed to a cardboard consistancy.  Then slather on a garlic, balsamic, EVOO paste with a 1:2:3 parts ratio.  Finally, broil about 8 minutes on a side to a nice brown color.  (Complements of Cook's Illustrated)

We also roast small whole eggplant at very high heat until soft.  Split in half at the table and drizzle with EVOO and good salt.

Then there is baba ganouj!

Wonderful flavors!

Tim

ooo yeah babaganoush is great - give that a go...


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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eggplant definitely needs to be cooked thoroughly. in my experience, though, salting is only necessary when you're going to be frying them. seems the salt draws out moisture, collapsing cells, which then absorb oil nicely (this is just my take, based only on observation, not on electron microscopes). sauteed, salted eggplant has a much "plusher" texture. when i grilled eggplant salted and unsalted side-by-side, i really couldn't tell the difference. salting also takes more time than you might expect. i found that it needed at least a good 60 minutes and preferably 90 minutes. be sure to do it in a colander, too, so the liquid can drain rather than collect and be reabsorbed.

the good news is that there's an incredibly easy way to make really spectacular eggplant that few people seem to have thought about: steaming. it had never occurred to me, but when i was writing about all the different varieties of eggplant, i did a taste test and steamed them in order to get the most neutral cooking method. i was amazed--they all tasted great (and, more or less, they all tasted like eggplant; varietal differences are more about texture and seed ratio). try this: steam eggplant until quite soft and then toss it in a fairly garlicky vinaigrette. sprinkle with herbs. it's really delicious.

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Traditionally aubergine is supposed to be salted so that the moisture draws out the bitterness.

I've read in a few places that modern aubergines have been bred (at least in the UK) so that they don't need this step - since I've stopped doing it I haven't noticed much of a difference.

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Traditionally aubergine is supposed to be salted so that the moisture draws out the bitterness.

actually, i'm afraid that's one of those old cooking myths, like soaking beans to remove the gas. there are several other competing claims, equally invalid: seedy eggplants are bitter; male eggplants are bitter (actually, of course, they're fruit, neither male nor female); eggplants with protuding tips are bitter ...

eggplant gets bitter when it starts to go over the hill (don't we all?). the thing most people forget is that eggplant is, technically, a tropical fruit and so, despite its appearance, it is fairly tender. technically, eggplant shouldn't even be refrigerated (leave it in the fridge a couple of days and you'll start to see soft spots--that's chill damage).

salting removes moisture and if you taste that moisture, it is bitter. but that's not the same thing as removing bitternes (there's plenty more left behind).

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eggplant gets bitter when it starts to go over the hill (don't we all?).

:laugh:

I'd like to try steaming eggplant. Should I leave it whole?

My favorite way to eat eggplant in the way my mom taught me. Slice eggplant into fairly thin rounds (1/4 " to 1/8 ") Rub slices down with a mixture of salt, cayenne and turmeric (not too much turmeric- just enough to give it a lovely golden color). Let "marinate" briefly- about 15 minutes. Lightly dust with flour, then fry in a thin film of oil over medium-high heat so that both sides get nicely browned and the flesh is almost falling apart.

I like to pat them a little with paper towels before serving- eggplant is one of those vegetables that, to me, seems to absorb oil despite how "properly" I fry it. No matter- it's delicious and a nice treat when I miss mom :smile: .

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You may want to try the smaller variety of eggplant that is often sold at asian markets. They take far less time to cook and I find that they have less bitterness.

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I'd like to try steaming eggplant. Should I leave it whole?

no, i like it cut into pieces. for round eggplant, cube them; for long eggplant, cut them in lengthwise quarters.

as for asian eggplant being less bitter--the one exception to my "not bitter" rule is a tiny eggplant you find in southeast asian markets. it looks like a bunch of very small, green grapes, still on stems. it's not truly an eggplant, but it is truly bitter. Thais use it in curries (the reason you sometimes find english peas in curries--they are trying to reproduce the look of these little eggplants).

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