Eggplant

Algerian Eggplant Salad

Serves 4 (adapted from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook; 2002)
***I made this last week and it was good. I salted my eggplant for ½ hour then patted it dry before adding to the marinade. Marinate the veggies as long as possible for a richer flavor. Leftovers keep for 24 hours then it gets a little watery. Zucchini might be a nice addition as well but I’d salt it too.***

Marinade:
• 1/8 cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• ½ tsp turmeric
• ½ tsp. cumin
• ¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes
• ¼ cup lime juice
• 2 tsp. minced garlic
• ½ cup minced cilantro

Salad Veggies:
• 1 ½ lbs. eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick slices
• ½ lb. plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
• 2 bell peppers, halved and seeded
• 1 small jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
• salt to taste

Directions:
• To make the marinade, combine the olive oil, turmeric, cumin, red chili flakes, lime juice, and ½ the cilantro. Gently toss and marinate the eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and jalapeno at room temp for at least 30 minutes.
• Preheat the grill or broiler. Cook all veggies for 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked but not mushy.
• Cool cooked veggies completely. Cut tomatoes into wedges, cut eggplant and bell peppers into bite size pieces and mince the jalapeno. Gently toss all veggies together with remaining cilantro. Season with salt.

Baba Ganoush

1 large eggplant
1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground cumin
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata

Directions:
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
Preheat an oven to 375°F.
Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley. Place olives around the sides. Serve at room temperature. (If you don’t want to grill the eggplant, preheat the oven to 450. Rub the outside with olive oil and prick with a fork in several places. Roast until the skin has charred and the interior is tender, 15-20 minutes.)

Caponata

Elaine Eschenbacher brought this dish for a harvest day potluck lunch.  It is DELICIOUS!! Elaine says the magic is in the simmering of the tomatoes and vinegar.  I think that’s right! You can grill the veggies or saute, mix and match depending on what you like and have on hand. Serve it on toasted baguette slices, crackers, pita chips or with pasta and Parmesan cheese. 

1 large eggplant cut into ½ inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 Tablespoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped celery (Elaine leaves this out – I did too)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup pitted and chopped black olives  (I didn’t have these when I made it – but they’d be good!)
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
parsley, black olives, capers for garnish (optional)

In a colander, place eggplant and zucchini, sprinkle with salt and let drain for 1 hour.  Rinse eggplant and zucchini, and pat dry.  (I skipped this step).  In a large skillet, heat half the olive oil.  Add eggplant and zucchini.  Saute until soft and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes.  Add remaining olive oil and the onion, red bell pepper, celery and garlic.  Saute for 15 minutes more.  Add tomatoes, olives, capers, sugar and vinegar.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.  Garnish with parsley, black olives and capers.

Char-Baked Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
5 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small eggplant, about 6 inches long, thinly sliced crosswise
2 zucchini, about 5 inches long, thinly sliced lengthwise – or use your patty pans.
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour some of the olive oil to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch rectangular or 12-inch oval baking dish. Layer in half of the onion slices and one third of the tomatoes. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a layer of eggplant and sprinkle on more salt. Add another third of the tomatoes, the zucchini, garlic, thyme, and the remaining onions. Top with the remaining tomatoes. Press down on the mixture with your hands. Pour over the remaining olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Don’t worry. The vegetables will be piled high but collapse as they cook.)

Bake uncovered for 1-1/2 hours. After 45 minutes, press the mixture down firmly with a spatula. The vegetables should be reduced in height, and should be brownish black and caramelized, almost charred in places. Return to the oven to finish roasting. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, so the mixture can solidify a bit. Cut into squares and serve.

Eggplant, La Tavernetta Style

2 pounds eggplant of any variety
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, slivered
12 good cherry tomatoes, halved, or a couple plum or medium-size regular tomates, cored and chopped
1 cup roughly chopped basil leaves.

1. Cut eggplant into pieces about an inch or two long and no more than a half-inch wide; each piece should have a bit of skin and a bit of flesh. (If eggplant are small, cut them first in long strips, then cut them crosswise. If large, you may end up discarding or reserving the fleshy, seedy center.)
2. Put 1/3 cup oil in a skillet over medium heat; a minute later add eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, and seasoning with salt and pepper until very soft, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until it colors slightly. Add tomatoes and about 2/3 of the basil, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is saucy, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. When both sauce and eggplant are done, combine them. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, or over pasta, garnished with remaining basil.

2-4 servings.

Eggplant Pizza

My mom made us this pizza for lunch. If you’re not an eggplant lover, this might do it. Makes 1 pizza

1 Boboli pizza crust
Basil pesto (approximately 3⁄4 cup)
1 medium onion
3-4 roma tomatoes
1 medium eggplant
olives (optional)
4 oz. Feta Cheese
1⁄2 cup Mozzarella cheese
Carmelize onions. Saute eggplant in olive oil until tender (approximately 8-10 minutes). Spread pesto on the Boboli crust. Add eggplant and onions, spread evenly over pesto. Add tomatoes and olives if desired. Sprinkle with Feta and Mozzarella cheese (or other cheeses). Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes

Eggplant, Tomato and Zucchini Gratin

1 eggplant
Sea salt
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced crosswise
3 garlic cloves smashed
5 tomatoes (1 lb) quartered
3 T chopped parsley
2 t thyme
Freshly ground pepper
2 zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
2 t tomato paste
Finishing touches:
1 clove garlic
sea salt
2 T chopped basil
2 t thyme
2 T olive oil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Quarter the eggplant lengthwise, then cut each quarter crosswise into slices about 1/3 inch thick. Unless the eggplant is very fresh, salt the slices lightly and set aside while you prepare the other veggies, then blot dry.

Heat the oven to 375. Lightly oil an 8×10 inch or 10 inch oval gratin dish.

Heat the oil in a wide skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan, turn the heat to high, and when the vegetables begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low. Lay the zucchini over the top of the vegetables, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. By this time, the vegetables should be soft. Using a slotted spoon, turn them into the prepared gratin dish. Stir the tomato paste into the liquid remaining in the skillet, then pour the liquid over the vegetables.

To finish the gratin, pound the garlic with a few pinches of salt in a mortar until smooth. Add the basil, thyme, and oil and work together, forming a paste. Spoon the paste over the vegetables and then intersperse the cheese among them. Cover the surface with the bread crumbs.

Bake until the bread crumbs have browned and the vegetables are hot and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let the gratin settle for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas

3-4 servings or 6-8 appetizer servings (adapted: From Julia Child’s Kitchen.)
Pizza Ingredients:
1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch slices
salt, for drawing water out of eggplant
2 Tbsp. olive oil, for brushing eggplant before roasting
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting
10 large basil leaves, cut in thin strips (optional)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated mozzarella
hot red pepper flakes for sprinkling finished pizza (optional)
Sauce Ingredients: (or use favorite jarred marinara or pizza sauce)
2-3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 can good quality petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 375. Put the eggplant pieces on a double layer of towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid then wipe dry with towels.
2. While the eggplant sits, make the sauce. Heat 2-3 tsp. olive oil and sauté the finely chopped garlic just until it becomes fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and oregano and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it’s thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as it cooks. Keep warm.
3. Oil a roasting pan, lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning. Roast the eggplant about 25 minutes; watching to keep them from getting mushy.
4. While the eggplant roasts, thinly slice the fresh basil leaves and combine Parmesan and mozzarella. Turn oven setting to broil. Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with thin basil slices (if using) and top with a generous amount of cheese. Put pizzas under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve hot, with red pepper flakes to sprinkle on pizza if desired.

Oven-Baked Ratatouille

10 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, rosemary, or savory leaves
2 large onions, thinly sliced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggplant, sliced 1⁄2 inch thick
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, basil, or chervil leaves for garnish
4 red or yellow bell peppers, stemmed,seeded and sliced in 3-4 pieces each
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350
2. Peel and cut each garlic clove in half.
3. In a casserole, make a layer of onion, follwed by one of the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Repeat. Drizzle the ratatouille with the olive oil and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour, pressing down on the vegetables occasionally, until they are all completely tender. Garnish and serve, hot or at room temperature.

Ratatouille

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

1 – 2.5 lb eggplant (or two smaller ones)
1 head garlic
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 cup dried tomatoes, in olive oil (to soften)
Salt, pepper, dried chilis to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Olive oil
Cube eggplant into 1/2″ pieces. Coat lightly in olive oil and salt. Wrap head of garlic in foil, place garlic and eggplant on cookie sheet, and roast in 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes. Toward the end of the baking time, watch eggplant – don’t let the eggplant burn. Remove from oven and cool. Put everything in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve or freeze.

Rich and Creamy Eggplant Soup

3 tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 T vegetable oil
1 T chopped fresh thyme
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
3 1/2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a baking sheet and brush with oil.
2. Roast in preheated oven until very tender and brown in spots, 45 minutes.
3. Scoop out eggplant pulp and discard skin. Place eggplant pulp, tomatoes, onion and garlic in a large heavy saucepan with thyme and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until onion is very tender, 45 minutes.
4. Puree in batches in a food processor or blender, or using an immersion blender. Return to low heat and stir in cream. Bring to a simmer, thinning with more broth, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

This recipe can be used with a mixture of vegetables that sounds good to you. The trick is to cut the vegetables in varying thicknesses based on how long they will take to roast since you’ll want them to all get done at the same time. Carrots or potatoes should be sliced thinner than summer squash or egg plant, for example.
Preheat oven to 425.
10 cups or so of fresh vegetables chopped for even cooking
possibilities include, but are not limited to potatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, summer
squash, green beans, peppers, fennel, carrots, garlic.
Spread on a baking pan and toss with ¼ cup olive oil and sprinkle with salt – kosher salt, if you have some. Bake for 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Let the vegetables cool.
Slice 2 cups of cherry tomatoes in half and toss with the vegetables along with 3 oz. of feta cheese and a vinaigrette dressing.

Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
fresh herbs – try basil, thyme, oregano to taste
Pepper to taste
The vegetables would also be good served over pasta or rice or topping a pizza.

Slow-Cooker Ratatouille

serves 8 to 10 -about 2 quarts (thekitchn.com) Beat the heat with this recipe!!!
Ingredients:
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 lb. eggplant
1 lb. zucchini or summer squash
2 large red, green, or yellow bell peppers (about 1 pound)
1 lb. tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. fine salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Directions:
1- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed, until completely softened and light golden-brown, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the vegetables.
2- Trim the eggplant and zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in the insert of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Trim, core, and cut the bell peppers into 1-inch dice and add to the slow cooker. Core the tomatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch dice, and add to the slow cooker. Finely chop the garlic and add to the slow cooker.
3- When the onions are ready, add the tomato paste to the pan and stir to coat the onions. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat all the vegetables.
4- Cover the slow cooker and cook until the vegetables are extremely tender, 4 hours on high or 5 to 6 hours on low. If you’d like to cook off some of the excess liquid in the slow cooker, cook uncovered for the last 30 minutes.
5- Stir in the basil and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Drizzle with more olive oil before serving.