EGGPLANT

Solanum melongena

Store eggplant at a cool room temperature or in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Eggplant is excellent grilled.  Slice into thick rounds, brush with olive oil and salt, and throw them on the grill with other veggies like zucchini and summer squash.

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Eggplant Basil Sandwiches
From From Asparagus to Zucchini

1 firm, slim medium eggplant, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices (about 4 cups or 20-24 slices)
kosher salt
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
vegetable oil (for cooking eggplant)

Lightly salt eggplant slices with kosher salt; place in colander and weight the slices with a heavy pot.  Let stand in sink at least 30 minutes.  Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.  Mix cream cheese and basil in small bowl until smooth.  Combine bread crumbs, 3/4 tsp salt, and cayenne pepper on sheet of waxed paper.  Crack eggs into a pie plate or shallow dish; froth with a fork.  Spread eggplant slices with herbed cheese, using about a teaspoon on smaller slices and slightly more on larger ones.  Make sandwiches with the slices.  Dip sandwiches first in beaten eggs, then in crumbs until well coated.  Heat oil to 1/8 inch depth in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  When very hot, fry sandwiches in batches without crowding until crisp and golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.  Serve warm (not hot).  Sandwiches can be kept warm in a preheated 200 degree oven while remaining sandwiches are cooked.  These are nice with a thick tomato sauce.

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Moroccan Roasted Vegetables
From Moosewood Restaraunt New Classics

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick semi-circles
1 small eggplant, cut into cut into 1/2-inch thick semi-circles
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cut into 1/4-inch semi-circles
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
2 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (15.5 ounce can, drained)
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together all of the ingredients.  Spread the vegetables onto an unoiled 11×17-inch baking tray.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir well.  Bake for another 20 minutes until the veggies are tender.  Serve warm.  This recipe serves 4.

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Miso-Glazed Eggplant

From The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook:  An Umami-Intensive Journey into Vegetables by Eric Gower

1/4 cup yellow miso (or a mix of yellow and white miso)
2 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp agave syrup
Red chile flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp walnut or olive oil
4 Japanese eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs total), trimmed and cut in half lengthwise, then scored 1/2 inch deep on the flesh side
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Combine miso, sake, agave syrup, and a pinch of chile flakes in a small bowl, and set aside.  In a large cast-iron pan, heat both oils over medium-high heat.  Add the eggplant, cut-side down, and cook without turning until it starts to brown (about 3 minutes).  Using tongs, carefully turn the pieces over so that the scored flesh is now facing up.  Turn on your broiler.  Gently brush or spoon the miso mixture evenly over the eggplant.  Place the pan under the broiler, and cook until the eggplant starts to turn deep brown, 1-3 minutes.  Sprinkle the eggplant with sesame seeds, and serve hot.  Makes 4 servings.

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