Here I will do my best to dis-spell any of the secrecy surrounding this dark horse. First of all, the skin is edible. You do not have to remove it before cooking. While browsing the internet for amazing recipes I quickly discovered that baking is the preferred way to cook the eggplant. In Italian cooking it is matched with tomato and strong cheeses. In middle eastern cooking it is baked and pureed to create a creamy texture. In North American cuisine it is used as a base for which to bake other items on or inside of. A vessel of the delicious sort. It is also, oddly enough, a main ingredient in ratatouille and eggplant Parmesan (ahh! Suddenly you've heard of it before!) . Below I've combined a few of my favorite ways to use the eggplant that cross a few cultural lines.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. In two baking traysarrange the sliced eggplants. Sprinkle the Himalayan Salt and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the bake eggplant from the oven and turn your broiler on. Spread 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce over each eggplant round followed by one slice of provolone. Arrange some fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes over the cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes. Make sure you keep a close look while the eggplant is under the broiler as they can burn really fast.
Serve while still hot. I had my eggplant pizza slices in between whole grain crusty bread and it was the bomb.
- 1large eggplant
- 1⁄4cup tahini, plus more as needed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄4cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 1pinch ground cumin
- salt, to taste
- 1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄4cup brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
- Preheat an oven to 375°F.
- Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire.
- Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
- Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.
- Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste.
- Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
- Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
- Place the olives around the sides.
- Serve at room temperature.
The lazy Eggplant: Grill it!
- 1 large globe eggplant (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
- Kosher salt
Prepare a medium-high charcoal or gas grill fire. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill (covered on a gas grill; uncovered on a charcoal grill) until golden-brown grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant and grill until tender and well marked on the second sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. The interior should be grayish and soft rather than white and hard. Serve warm or at room temperature.