For the love of eggplant!

We are growing four varieties of eggplant this year, and they are in peak season! We know that this delicious and versatile veggie can be a bit… unapproachable. We are here to share four of our very favorite ways to showcase eggplant in your next meal. You can use use any variety of eggplant for all of these dishes, though some specify varieties that are traditionally used. Don’t be afraid to mix and match for an unbelievable depth of delicious eggplant flavor. Make sure to share with all your eggplant loving (and future eggplant-loving) friends, and stop by our farm market today to pick up all the ingredients you’ll need!

1. Simple Roasted Eggplant

Easy roasted eggplant is the perfect addition to any meal, and one of the simplest way to prepare eggplant. Use as a side dish or let it shine in a wrap or sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • eggplant, 1 large or 3 small
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • black pepper

Instructions:

  • Cut off ends of eggplant and slice into ⅓ inch rounds. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.  Lay the eggplant on the rack. Liberally sprinkle each side of the steaks with the salt and let the eggplant sit for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Rinse the eggplant under cool water and thoroughly pat dry with a towel.
  • Arrange the eggplant and single layer on the parchment lined baking sheet. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil and a light sprinkle of black pepper.
  • Roast the eggplant in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip and roast for an additional 10 minutes. Serve as desired.

2. Eggplant and Tomato Curry

This is savory, complex and delicious and uses Thai red curry paste to create a lot of flavor quickly. You can serve it over potatoes instead of rice.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Japanese eggplants or globe or Italian eggplant, cut into 2 x 3″ chunks (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • Cilantro and scallions, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant chunks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute over fairly high heat, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Then cover the pan and cook until eggplant begins to collapse and brown in places, another 5 minutes or so. Remove from pan and set aside

2. Put solid/fat part of the coconut milk in a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste, ginger, if using and spices and mix well. Fry this mixture for about 3 minutes then add the eggplant and combine well and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato sauce and remaining coconut milk and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered for about 15 minutes until thickened a bit. Serve hot over rice or potatoes.

Recipe adapted from cookwithwhatyouhave.com.

3. Stuffed Eggplant

A delicious vegetarian entree dish that will impress! The bread crumbs get delightfully toasty on top, taking this eggplant favorite to the next level!

Ingredients:

  • 3 med eggplants
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 c onion chopped
  • 2 med green peppers
  • 2 med tomatoes
  • 1 heaping tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp each tarragon and oregano
  • 2 c ricotta
  • 1/2 c parmesiano grated
  • 1 c fine bread crumbs
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil

Instructions:

  • Slice eggplants, bake face down in 350 degree oven for 20-25 min.
  • Scoop out meat and chop.
  • Heat olive oil in pan. Saute onion,peppers, bay leaf, peppers and eggplant meat until the onions are translucent.
  • Save half of the parmesiano and bread crumbs for topping. Mix the rest of the ingredients and let rest for 20 mins.
  • Drain off extra liquid, put the filling back into the eggplant.
  • Top with extra cheese and crumbs, Bake in 350 oven for 30-35 min.

Recipe adapted from the original Moosewood Cookbook.

4. Baba Ganoush

This smoky dish of roasted eggplant, pureed with tahini, garlic and lemon is one of my favorite dishes. It’s good with/on most anything!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium globe eggplants or 4-5 longer skinny Japanese eggplants
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2-3 clove garlic, minced and mashed with side of chef’s knife or pressed
  • Juice of 1 lemon (more to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil and chopped cilantro, parsley and/or mint for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

1. Set your oven to broil or your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Prick the eggplants all around with a skewer or a small tined fork (so it doesn’t explode in the oven) and put them on a baking sheet. Place them about 6-8 inches beneath the broiler element or roast on a middle rack. If broiling, broil for about 20 minutes, turning the eggplant every five minutes or so to ensure evening blackening. If roasting it will take more like 30 minutes. Remove when the eggplant is tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife and the juices are flowing out a bit. Cut eggplants in half to speed cooling. Peel when cool enough to handle.

3. If you have a food processor, put eggplant in processor bowl. Add mashed garlic, tahini, lemon juice and a few pinches of salt and a bit of black pepper. Process until smooth-ish–I like a little bit of texture. Taste and seasons to taste. Serve garnished with a little olive oil and some fresh herbs if you’d like.

4. Serve at room temperature. Store in refrigerator for up to five days.

Recipe adapted from the cookwithwhatyouhave.com

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