I heard something scary the other day…there are people out there that don’t like eggplant. I can understand not liking broccoli or brussel sprouts (both of which I love) but eggplant? Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables out there, you can do pretty much everything with them. Fry them for some eggplant parmesan, bake them for rolletinis, saute them…cream them (hello baba ganoush)…the options are limitless. So I have to wonder if these people have been the unfortunate victims of bitter plant, which I have been guilty of doing. In fact the first thing I ever cooked for Joe included a few bites of this not so wonderful version eggplant. When eggplant is not properly prepped, or if it’s kept too long, it becomes a bitter cousin of its true self, and you can’t tell from looking at it. The trick: salt and press! Take the eggplant, cut it as desired, lightly coat in salt and then press it between two plates/cutting boards with paper towels to collect the liquid. After pressing for about 30minutes, rinse the eggplant and dry with paper towels. I would say this method works 98.9% of the time, because if the eggplant is old this won’t fix it. The downside of this is that one needs to know somewhat in advance if eggplant is on the menu. However taking out the risk of the bitter plant is well worth the extra time! This recipe is one that really showcases how amazing the eggplant is, taking center stage where it belongs.
2 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 cups mushrooms (shitake if available)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup marsala
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms, turn heat to medium high, and cook an additional 10 minutes until eggplant is tender. Stir in flour.
3. Add the water, marsala, and vinegar. Bring to boil. and then turn heat to low and simmer for 20minutes. Season to taste and serve over brown rice.
Did I mention this is a really simple recipe? Gotta love anything that was easy to prepare after classes. Typically I let this simmer while I did some minor cleaning/worked on homework. Now I let it simmer while I do some minor cleaning/take care of the furry children. This is also a very simple vegan recipe, which gives it bonus points in my book!