Eggplant for a hater?
So I get these weekly vegetable boxes full of, well, vegetables, in order to encourage myself to eat more vegetables. But here's the thing: some vegetables, I just don't like.
I've mastered zuccini and learned to enjoy it. I'm working on onions (cooked, ok, raw, not so much). But eggplant. Eggplant is my nemesis. The texture, it's so icky and the flavour is so blah. I just can't find myself not hating it.
And this week's box has a big ol' eggplant in it.
So, hounds, can you help me out here? Is there something I can do with this eggplant that will make me not hate it? Some beginner eggplant recipe for weak palates? Eggplant for dummies?
Given that 'eat more vegetables' is but one point in my 27 point plan for 'weighing less than a small car', it'd be helpful if the recipes didn't involve boiling the eggplant in cream and slathering it in butter, or the like, but I'm fearful that the only way to like it is if I can't taste it.
I learned this "recipe" from a Turkish friend: slice eggplant, sauté in olive oil (or grill if you want save a few calories), serve with Greek (or thick) yogurt, sprinkle with chopped garlic (raw) and parsley (and Aleppo pepper if you have some). This is incredibly simple & every time I serve it, no matter how much I make, it's always gone. Even people who don't like eggplant like this....
Peel and cube a large globe eggplant. Salt lightly and place in a strainer. After 15-20 give each piece a couple of squeezes until the eggplant looks less spongy and texture is noticebly different. Saute in 1/3 cup olive oil for around 10 minutes. The eggplant will both absorb and release eggplant. When it is mostly cooked, add two minced garlic cloves and 1/2 pd. Shitake mushrooms that have been stemmed and thickly sliced. Saute another 5-10 minutes until eggplant and shitake are fully cooked. Add several large handfulls of Italian parsley and toss with 1 lb. pasta.
The eggplant becomes very tender and absorbs a lot of mushroom flavor. If you want a less aggressive shitake mushroom flavor then sub. 1/2 the shitakes for buttons.
You need to salt it first to get rid of the nasty bitterness. Just slice the eggplant, lay it on a perforated sheet pan in the sink, and sprinkle salt on. Then let the juices exude for half an hour or so.
Rinse, pat dry, and then do whatever you do with eggplant.
Eggplant is either male or female. The female eggplant is more bitter because it has more seeds. You can tell the difference by looking at the bottom end of the eggplant, if it is rounder and goes in like a bellybutton it is female, if it is more pointed it is male.