Saturday, July 26, 2014

Japanese Eggplant

Behold the Japanese eggplant! It tastes remarkably like a regular eggplant, so I really can't tell you why I would use it over the standard one. I also have no idea what inspired its' name as none of the versions I've seen really look like an egg in the first place. So why would you eat eggplant? Well, I've asked myself that very question. I don't find them all that flavourful, but they seem to come alive when roasted or grilled. This may also be because I top them with all kinds of things such as chile paste or pesto and a soft cheese once off the grill. They make a good base...kind of like an odd textured cracker.

What I didn't know about eggplants is that they are a fruit and are loaded with all sorts of goodies. For instance, eggplants have fiber, iron, potassium, folate, manganese and calcium in them. Good news! So if you are interested in getting loaded up with vitamins and minerals, consider this odd little number and try the following recipes.

Grilled Eggplant topped with Yoghurt and Dill

It is as easy as it sounds.

I tried slicing two Japanese eggplants both horizontally and vertically and had more success with the horizontal slices. I brushed each slice with a little olive oil and roasted them on a grill plate in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400F. Half way through, I flipped each slice to get an even grill on both sides.

The sauce is just a cup of 2% yoghurt with some chopped dill, salt and pepper in it. I seasoned the eggplant slices with salt and pepper once out of the oven and then topped some of them with the yoghurt sauce.

Roasted Cauliflower with Walnuts, Gruyere and Eggplant on a Bed of Spinach

I reserved most of the horizontal slices of eggplant for this salad. I used half a head of cauliflower,
brushing each bite-size piece with some olive oil and roasting them in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes at 450F. Once roasted, I built each serving individually arranging a handful of spinach on each plate, followed by a few walnut pieces, some cubed Gruyere, a handful of the cauliflower and the eggplant. I used about a half cup each of cubed Gruyere, walnuts and eggplant to make four servings. Each of the salads was topped off with a drizzle of olive oil and some quality salt and cracked pepper.