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EGGPLANT

eggplantEggplant

Eggplant is a curious but beautiful vegetable. Many, many varieties exist, ranging from traditional black bell-shaped, to long, narrow Asian-varieties, to medium-sized light purple Italian varieties. While I wish I could say each variety had a distinct taste, most eggplant tastes, unfortunately like eggplant. If you have been intimidated by cooking with eggplant, treat this vegetable like meat. It is an excellent sponge absorbing marinades and sauces very well. Eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber.

Storage Info:

  • Store unrefrigerated at a cool room temperature, or in hydrator drawer of the fridge for up to 1 week.
     
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French Ratatouille (from Asparagus to Zucchini)

sliced tomatoes
1-2 heads garlic, peeled and slivered
zucchini, eggplant, onions, peppers, all cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh basil
olive oil

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Starting with the tomatoes, layer vegetables and herbs in baking dish, filling it very full. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons olive oil over each layer. Cover and bake 3 hours. If soupy, uncover during last hour. Baste with liquid if you like. Makes any number of servings  Delicious served with warm crusty bread and fresh mozarella.

 

Eggplant Burgers (from Simply in Season)

2 T oil
2 tsp wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Whisk these ingredients together in a small bowl.

1 egglplant: cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Brush with oil mixture.
Place on a grill over medium-high heat. Close lid and cook, turning and brushing
occasionally with remaining oil mixture, until tender, 5-10 minutes. Remove from grill. (Eggplant slices may be cooked under the broiler or sauteed in a frypan until tender, 4-5 mintues per side).

8 thin slices provolone, gouda, or other cheese
2 tomatoes (thinly sliced)
4 large pieces roasted red peppers
8-16 leaves fresh basil
salt and pepper

Drizzle balsamic vinegar on inside of split rolls. Or brush the bread with olive oil, toast it on the grill and lightly rub a cut garlic clove over the toasted surface. Then, place a slice of cheese on 1 eggplant slice; top with another eggplant slice. Top with tomato, pepper, then 2-4 leaves of basil. Add salt and pepper to season. Serve immediately or wrap tightly and refrigerate several hours or overnight, allowing flavors to blend. Serves 4.

 

Eggplant Basil Sandwiches (from Asparagus to Zuchini)

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut 1/4 inch-thick slices
kosher salt
1 package (8oz) light cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
vegetable oil (for cooking eggplant)

Lightly salt eggplant slices with kosher salt; place in a colander and weight the slices with a heavy pot. Let stand in sink at least 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Mix cream cheese and basil in small bowl until smooth. Combine bread crumbs, 3/4 tsp salt and cayenne pepper on sheet of waxed paper. Crack eggs into a pie plate or shallow dish; froth with a fork. Spread eggplant slices with herbed cheese, using about 2 teaspoons on smaller slices and slightly more on larger ones. Make sandwiches with the slices. Dip sandwiches first in beaten eggs, then in crumbs until well coated. Heat oil to 1/8 inch depth in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. When very hot, fry sandwiches, in batches without crowding, until crisp and golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Serve warm (not hot). Sandwiches can be kept warm in preheated 225 degree oven while remaining sandwiches are cooked. These are nice with a thick tomato sauce. Makes 4 small sandwiches.

 

Easy Pasta Topper (from Amy’s own kitchen):  This vegetable saute is easy to whip up in about twenty minutes and is delicious over whole wheat penne pasta!!

2 small eggplant, chopped into small pieces
2 peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 jar of diced tomatoes (16 oz) or 4 fresh tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1/4 cup pesto (more or less depending on your taste)
salt, pepper, and oregano to taste

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add eggplant and peppers and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and heat through. Season with herbs and cook for a few more minutes until seasoned well. Add pesto at the end and pour over penne pasta for a quick supper!!

 

Grilled Summer Vegetable Summer Pasta (from Asparagus to Zucchini)

1-2 zucchini
1 eggplant
4 tomatoes
4 portobello mushrooms
1 bell pepper
olive oil spray
3 T garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne, cooked, rinsed and cooled
4 oz. fresh mozarella, sliced
3 T toasted pine nuts
3 T chopped fresh basil
approximately 1 cup of your favorite viniagrette

Heat outdoor grill. Slice zucchini and eggplant into long inch thick planks. Cut tomatoes in half. Remove stems from mushrooms. Cut pepper into quarters; discard core and seeds.  Spray veggies with light coating of oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder; season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and barely tender. Chop and place in a large bowl with pasta, cheese, nuts and basil. Toss with viniagrette. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6-8 servings.

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Three Rivers Community Farm         
Elsah, Illinois         

 

mailing address:
P.O. Box 122
Elsah, IL 62028 

618-946-7974
info@threeriverscommunityfarm.com


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