Eggplant - the Versatile Vegetable
Unusual Shaped Eggplant
One of the eggplants, my hubby said, was a double yolker. Like eggs. Personally, it looks like it should be wearing a shirt.
Ha, ha, ha, ha.
One time, when I made eggplant, I had small kids over, and I cut the pieces small and square instead of round, cross cut pieces. I coated them, and fried them until the outside was golden brown.
The kids started eating them, and enjoyed their first bite. One child, after biting it, said what is wrong with my chicken nugget, it's green? Well, I said, 'Set it aside, and take another one." She set it aside and took another one, took a bite and said the same thing. She made it through an entire meal. She loved it, but questioned every bite. She is now an adult and loves eggplant, but it was that first experience... smile.
I used the eggplant, instead of noodles, for some sort of lasagna years ago. It was very good.
You can take a bunch of sauteed eggplant and add fresh tomatoes and onions and it turns into an interesting dish. Some call it rattatouie and others just call it a vegetable hotdish. Either name, it's really good.
My latest interest is grilling eggplant. I was reading up on it, and it seems rather easy. Don't peel it. Cut it thick. Soak it in salted, lemon juice water, then dip it in oil and put it on the grill for 10 minutes. 5 minutes per side. You need to see char marks on the side before you flip it over.
It sounds good. Some people use olive oil and garlic salt. Some people use olive oil and regular salt. Some people use Italian salad dressing.
If it were me, I think instead of the sour dressing, I'd use a more subtle Asian type oil. More teriyaki or ginger or Sesame based.
Pre Soak in Salted Water
When you peel the eggplant, the skin has a purplish ink in it. The actual eggplant starts out a mild, light color that turns darker with exposure to air. I think that the salted, lemon water helps keep it lighter. Like potatoes darken with air. Same type of thing.
I think the salted water helps draw something out of the eggplant. Eggplant floats like a bobber, so a plate is needed to hold them under whatever you are soaking them in.
To Peel or Not to Peel - That is the Question
We peel our eggplant, but I'm aware that you can eat it, if you prefer. I use a potato peeler and pare it. Some think that you cannot eat it because it causes digestive discomfort. It's a personal choice. Oh, come pare.