Egg and plant. Two words that would not seem to go together and yet, for some reason, really work. If you have some eggplant in your home and want to know what to do with it, these recipes are where to look right now.
Eggplant With Feta Tart
Eggplant pairs naturally well with feta. Feta is salt and eggplant can be bland so clearly they’re meant for each other. This easy tart begins with baked puff pastry. Then you can add sliced eggplants with some salt, a few bright pickled red peppers, and your favorite herbs. Take the whole thing, add feta (Greek or Bulgarian is ideal if you can find it) and place it on top of the pastry. Bake for twenty-five minutes and you’re in business.
Roasted Eggplant With Asian Flavors
Roasting brings out the flavors of eggplant. Add in soy, miso paste, sesame oil, and some ginger and sliced garlic and you’re at the top of the trendy curve. Slice the eggplants into cuts about as thick as your thumb. Marinate with the Asian ingredients for an hour. Then roast in the oven on low heat for two hours.
Tempura is a nice way of saying delicious fried stuff. This is the right recipe for a Japanese eggplant. Japanese eggplants are like their slightly fatter cousins. They have color and style. You can slice them up and then fry them in a tempura batter. This is the ideal thing to serve to a crowd or just because you feel like it. Take the slices out and let them shake off the excessive oil. You don’t want too much oil in your eggplant. Serve with a cold beer and a dip like queso or soy sauce if you want to get authentically Japanese.
Italian food is yummy. What the Italians do with eggplant is marvelous. Slice them lengthwise and fry them. Then you want to have a large baking pan on hand. Put the eggplants in the pan and then add in tomato sauce and cheese. Let the whole thing bake for at least twenty minutes to give the flavors time to merge. Serve hot or cold and put some opera on. You can pretend you’re in Florence even if you’re in the middle of a North Dakota winter.
Eggplant Pasta Salad
Eggplant pairs really well with pasta. You want to slice it thin and then marinate with your favorite olive oil and some good vinegar. Take the whole thing out and place in a large bowl with penne. Add spinach, kale, chopped carrots, and some ripe tomatoes. The whole salad can marinate further to develop the kind of flavors even your cranky great aunt will adore. Top with fresh ricotta and your day is made.
These easy recipes show off what can be done with a bit of imagination and a determination to love that eggplant. Eat eggplant all year long and be happy.