Don’t Like Eggplant? Here Are Three Tricks That Will Make You In Love With Eggplant
Eggplant is one of those vegetables that is hugely disliked among children and even many adults. Why is that? There are a few reasons. Back in the day, people who used to grow eggplants didn’t eat the vegetable. They used eggplants to store their ornaments instead. The eggplant was never on their dinner plates because they used to think this vegetable caused cancer, brain-related diseases, and other severe health problems.
As we all now know, there is no truth to those claims, but there is another reason many people do not eat eggplant—when cooked incorrectly, you can experience a bitter or mushy taste or the combination of both. But there’s great news! The bitter taste of eggplant has been reduced significantly due to the advancement of agricultural science. There has also been a huge increase in the variety of this vegetable.
Now, let’s take a moment to address a common misconception about eggplant. If you think eggplant is a vegetable, then let me correct you. I have mentioned eggplant as a vegetable above, but actually, eggplant is a fruit. Unlike most fruits that we eat, eggplant is not sweet or tangy, but bitter; therefore, people don’t eat it raw and must be creative when preparing eggplant recipes. If you want to have eggplant, but don’t know how to get rid of the dreaded bitter taste, then here are a few tricks to help you with that.
Salt the Eggplant
You might not believe it, but rubbing salt on eggplant can reduce bitterness. Rub salt on the eggplant 30 minutes prior to cooking. Just take a couple of pinches of salt and thoroughly rub it on the fruit. You will find drops of brownish water on the surface of the fruit, which is actually the bitter liquid seeping out. Simply blot these drops with the help of a paper towel and proceed with your recipe.
Season the Eggplant Properly
Eggplant has a spongy texture just like potatoes or tofu. The texture helps it absorb all the oils, spices and herbs that you use while cooking this fruit. To get the most from your eggplant experience, take some inspiration from the people who love eating eggplant. Add this fruit to a buffet of strong-tasting dishes. Do not be afraid to flavor your eggplant with a variety of robust seasonings!
There is a very famous variety of eggplant, the Thai Green Eggplant, which is prepared with a variety of curries that contain coconut milk. When cooked in the curry, the fruit softens and soaks up the taste of the curry to create a burst of flavor. Thai curries range from green to red to yellow and more, each providing a unique blend of spicy heat and sweetness.
You can transform small white eggplant into a popular Indian recipe known as ‘Baingan Bharta’. Indians have multiple eggplant recipes such as ‘Baingan Aloo’ in which small eggplants are cut vertically along with potatoes and then fried with a variety of spices.
There is a ‘bharva baingan’ dish in which small eggplants are cut vertically and stuffed with a filling of onions, spices, and salt. Then, the eggplant is deep friend in a pan.
In the Middle East, they use purple and white striped eggplant and roast it into baba ganoush—a very healthy dish. Baba ganoush contains less calories than hummus, and is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. As well, baba ganoush is high in vitamins C, K, and E, which help maintain the well-being of the heart, bone, and skin.
Pair Eggplant with Tomatoes
Both eggplant and tomatoes are fruits. Both belong to the same family, and they both take the same amount of time to ripen. They seem to be made for each other. In fact, many eggplant recipes include tomatoes in large quantities. When both of these fruits are cooked at the same time, the jammy flavor of the tomatoes brings down the harshness of the eggplant.
‘Parmigiana,’ a famous Italian recipe, is all about eggplant and tomatoes. If you would like to try the dish, here is a variation on the classic recipe—Deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiana Pasta. People from all over the world also enjoy Ratatouille, a French dish that includes zucchini and onions along with the eggplant and tomatoes.
Combine grilled eggplant slices with cherry tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella, to create a heavenly dish. You must try this dish at least once in your life, and I’m sure that once you try it, you will have it again and again.
So, eggplant is not that bad, is it? You might change your perspective after you try this amazing fruit. Because once you start eating it, you will definitely add it to your list of favorite food items.
Author Bio: Monica Henin, the author of this post is a food expert. She has written a countless number of recipes on different websites as guest authors and on her own website www.addonkitchen.com. She has helped thousands of readers regarding healthy food recipes, and still continues to do so.
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We are always looking for new ways to spin classic recipes ,and this one was a winner. At this time of the year, the Farmers Markets have beautiful eggplant. What better way to enjoy this delicious vegetable than to cook it with Marina’s Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Spinach Fettuccine. This is a deconstructed eggplant parmigiana. It was delicious and very easy to make! What is really great about this recipe is that you can quickly prepare it for your family. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s, Antonia’s Pasta Alla Melenzana or Eggplant Pasta.
Heat 1/2 cup of oil and the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and eggplant and cook gently over medium heat, stirring often and until tender-about 10-15 minutes. If you notice the eggplant is soaking up the oil, you can add more as you go. When you notice the eggplant and onion becoming fork tender, add the whole garlic cloves and half of the basil leaves.
Cook down for another 10 minutes and then add your jar of Marina’s Tomato Sauce. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.
During this time, bring a large pot of water to boil. You can add a pinch of salt and/or olive oil to the water if you would like. When you have a rolling boil, add your Spinach Fettuccine and cook until al dente- about 10 minutes.
After straining the fettuccine, spoon the pasta onto a serving platter and place to the side. At time point, take your packaged mozzarella and toss it with your eggplant in the pan. After that, spoon onto your spinach fettuccine, top with your fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Lastly, enjoy with your family!
This is the first in a series of Vegetarian Recipes from Marina’s kitchen.
March is vegetarian month, and I am very behind with my posts. I know I promised! Eggplant Parmesan. This is an old family recipe, and the secret to this light eggplant parmesan is flouring the eggplant, not breading. Make sure the vegetable oil is hot when your add the eggplant to the pan. I can remember walking into my Aunt Wanda’s house and she had just finished cooking an Eggplant Parmesan. She would stack the eggplant, and you would have your little eggplant heaven on your dish!
2-Eggplants (Slice into rounds)
1 lb. Mozzarella (Sliced) Please don’t use shredded. It will not melt and give you the right consistency.
3 Eggs Beaten
2-Cups Flour (You can season with Salt and Pepper)
Dip the sliced eggplant into the egg and dredge in the flour.
Fry the eggplant in blended oil until brown on both sides.
Drain the eggplant on paper towels.
Put some of Marina’s Tomato Sauce into the bottom of the dish. I like to use a round Pyrex dish.
Put a layer of eggplant, mozzarella, Marina’s Italian Tomato Sauce and sprinkle with Romano Cheese.
Keep layering the eggplant, mozzarella, Marina’s Italian Tomato Sauce and Romano Cheese until you reach the top of the Pyrex dish.
For the final layer put some sauce and sprinkle with Romano Cheese. Don’t worry about using to much Marina’s Italian Tomato Sauce….The Eggplant will soak up the sauce while it cooks.
Cook the Eggplant Parmesan in a preheated 375 degree oven for about an hour. It is done when you can put a fork in the center and the mozzarella comes out stringy and gooey!
Take the eggplant Parmesan out of the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the eggplant is a little soupy. You will have extra sauce to spoon over the eggplant while you eat. Don’t forget to dip your bread into the sauce!
Serve with Italian Bread and a tossed Salad. Enjoy!
I always make extra and freeze. What a better way to enjoy eggplant over the winter months.