Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What to do with that eggplant

Many people shy away from eggplant, that very strange vegetable.  My kids take one look at it and run.  Bob and I love to slice, coat, and cook it in a little oil as an appetizer, or even grill large slices outside.  It is the steak of the vegetable world.

This year the garden yielded an incredible amount of eggplant--the largest amount it has ever delivered!  I started out making eggplant parmesan and frying the slices like I normally do, but that wasn't using up the amount being produced.  I peeled, sliced, blanched and froze a gallon bagful but was still searching for more ways to cook up my supply.

Today I found this delightful recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Her recipe uses zucchini but it works just as well with eggplant.  I salted and drained the eggplant slices for quite a while (two hours, probably) just because it took that long to get back to cooking after chasing kids around the house.  Make sure you take paper towels and soak up as much liquid as you can from the eggplant slices after they sit in the salt for a while.  This keeps them from being bitter and soggy.  I also used half white flour, half white whole wheat flour (King Arthur Flour sells white whole wheat) for the dough, and it passed the Bob test (he hates anything made from whole wheat flour--says it "tastes like dirt".  I think next time I'll top it with thinly sliced shallots or caramelized onions.  

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