Eggplant! oh aubergine! oh brinjal! The absolute underdog of the solanaceae. Odd-shaped, purple, and spiny. It’s no wonder some find you bitter. In his Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Fermina Daza agreed to marry the persistent Florentino Ariza under the one condition, “Very well, I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.” And Ursula K LeGuin wrote in The Language of the Night, “I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.” We disagree. Wholeheartedly. Eggplant, we love you.
Pickled eggplant in olive oil – a lovely video and recipe from Kitchen Vignettes.
Madras pickled eggplant, from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.
And check out Alice Water’s Ratatuille recipe from Food52.com – a favorite summer staple for us on the farm.
And check out Anita’s recipe for Eggplant Bacon in this great video.
Eggplant chips This is a super simple recipe Trish enjoys especially. A lot of times eggplant is hiding in a sauce, masked with other flavors. Roasting it solo gives you a chance to enjoy the delicate eggplant flavor.
- 1 medium eggplant washed and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
- olive oil
Wash eggplant and slice into rounds rather than length wise. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant on a large metal baking tray and brush both sides of the eggplant lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with just a touch of salt. Place in oven for 15-25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the eggplant chips, they will get very brown and will need to be flipped so the other side can brown as well. Remove and place on a plate to serve – enjoy!
Jamaican Jerk Eggplant Don’t be dissuaded by the list of ingredients, use what you have. This comes together quickly and deliciously. This recipe is adapted from NYTimes via Minimalist Baker.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbsp-ish)
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup tamari or coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 2-3 Tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or grape seed or avocado oil), plus more for grilling
- 3 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeno, serrano or habanero pepper, seeds removed
- 1 large or 2 small eggplants
- 1/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp grape seed or olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- Pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
In a small mixing bowl, mix together cinnamon, coriander, all spice, cayenne, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, ginger, lime juice, tamari, coconut sugar, coconut oil, green onions or scallions, and jalapeno / serrano / habanero pepper. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, fresh herbs for earthy flavor, coconut sugar for sweetness, pepper for heat, or garlic for bite / zing.
Slice eggplant vertically (lengthwise) into 1/2-inch-thick “steaks” and generously brush both sides with the marinade. Heat up a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil / grease to discourage the eggplant from sticking. Once hot, add eggplant and grill on both sides until golden brown and grill marks are present – about 3-5 minutes each side.
In the meantime, prepare sauce (optional!) by adding BBQ sauce, lime juice, oil, coconut sugar / maple syrup, ginger, salt, pepper, onion, and cayenne pepper to a small and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime for acidity, coconut sugar for sweetness, cayenne for heat, or salt for saltiness.
Serve grilled eggplant as is or over rice, over cauliflower rice, or with sauce (optional), and garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or green onion.
Storage tip: Does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash before storing because it doesn’t like extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage, place loose in the crisper.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
–Miguel de Cervantes