Cooking Challenge – Eggplant
The Tidings Cooking Challenge is an opportunity for food lovers to try their hand at creating something together. Not all in the same kitchen, of course. Rather, try the recipe in your own time and then come back and tell us what you thought of it. You can add your comments directly underneath the post, or send a photo of your creation to [email protected].
Eggplants can be as meaty and filling as steak, and preparing them can be just as quick and easy. Eggplants do need a certain amount of preparation time, though. They contain bitter juices that, if not dealt with properly, can make the eggplant taste unpleasant. Eliminating those juices is very easy. Once you’ve cut the eggplant into slices, sprinkle both sides with a little salt, place them in a large dish and set aside for a good 30 minutes. The salt functions to draw out the bitterness. Then, just pat them dry, and you’re ready their ready to go. Once cooked, eggplants vary in taste depending on the variety. But, generally, they can be described as tasting very slightly bitter with a spongy texture.
If you’ve never tried eggplant before (or you’ve never met an eggplant you liked), give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
Adapted from Biba Caggiano’s Northern Italian Cooking (HP Books)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
A handful of other mixed herbs (rosemary, basil, chives, thyme)
2 Tbsp capers
Salt and Pepper
1. Peel eggplants. Cut into 1-inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of each slice with a little salt; lay slices in a large dish, and let stand for 30 minutes. Pat dry, and wipe out dish.
2. Place olive oil, garlic and mixture of herbs in the dish. Add eggplant slices. Make sure that eggplant slices are brushed with oil and covered with herbs. Let marinate for 4 hours.
3. Lightly season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Place on the hot grill and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side. Top with capers.
Serve hot or at room temperature with a glass of Tempranillo.