Not only does eggplant look and feel spongy, it also acts like a sponge, soaking up and holding onto whatever flavors you marinate or cook it in. Try using Indian, Thai or Mexican spice combinations for something that tastes completely different! Email us for suggestions.
- 1 large or two small eggplant
- 1 Tablespoon chopped herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, thyme)
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ½ Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Preheat broiler.
- Whisk all ingredients except the eggplant in a large bowl.
- Wash the eggplant, then trim off a 1/2” s1ice on both ends. Slice thinly (about 1/4”) crosswise. Toss eggplant slices with the balsamic mixture and allow to marinate for at least twenty minutes.
- Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
- Place under broiler and cook for about five minutes, until the eggplant is slightly browned.
- Flip and brown on the other side, about five minutes longer, until tender
You now have delicious, tender eggplant ready to add flavor to a variety of dishes!
Try it on a sandwich with fresh (or roasted) tomato, basil and mozzarella! Be sure to use a really excellent loaf of crusty bread. Rub each slice of bread with garlic and drizzle with balsamic for some extra flavor. I bet this eggplant sandwich would be really good grilled or smooshed in a panini press.
Greek Salad (inspired by Aladdin’s in Rochester): One of my favorite meals of all time is a Greek salad with marinated eggplant. Top fresh greens with red pepper, cucumbers, olives, feta and some freshly broiled eggplant. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and serve with toasted pita. Yummmm!
Healthy Eggplant Parm: On a lightly oiled baking sheet, top each eggplant slice with 1 Tablespoon marinara and 1 Tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 for ten minutes, until heated through. Alternatively, layer the eggplant, sauce, and cheese in a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, until it gets bubbly and heated through.
Tip #1: Here is a great way to make jarred sauce taste a little closer to homemade. Take your favorite jar of marinara, add 1 cup diced Plum Tomatoes and 1 clove minced or 2 cloves of roasted garlic. Simmer for about twenty minutes. Toss in a tablespoon of fresh basil near the end.
Tip # 2: You should probably make a trip to Rochester Public Market, the very best place to get cheese. You can get your kalamata olives, feta, mozzarella and Parmesan from the lovely people in blue aprons (A Shed) for much less then you would pay in the store. There is also an AMAZING bakery next to Java's (at the North End) called Flour City Bakery. The best bread I ever bought. Be sure to stop at our stalls 49A & 51A – to say hi to Ted! Now you're all set to put together some incomparable meals with the very best ingredients around.
PS: Can you tell I love eggplant? Please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions! I'm always looking for new ways to cook up this beautifully alien looking vegetable, so I would love to hear about your favorite recipes.