Cooking with Eggplant
It's popular all over the globe! Shiny and black or long and purple, or even pure white, varieties of this vegetables can be found everywhere.
Known by many names, in the Mediterannean area it's known as aubergine. In Australia it's called eggfruit. Africans call it garden egg, and Indians refer to it as brinjal. Only in the United States is it called eggplant. Versatile, it's used in the cuisines of many countries. We're going exploring to find the tastiest dishes.
Although we are most familiar with the nearly black, shiny, large fruits, eggplant comes in a variety of colors and shapes, from the long light purple or striped Asian variety, to an actual egg shaped white fruit.
About.com offers us several good articles about selecting, storing and preparing eggplant.
There are so many ways to prepare eggplant it's hard to decide on a favorite method. Most of the time it is served as breaded and fried slices, stacked in casseroles. There are also more healthful preparations, such as the recipes shown below. Eggplant is delicious with tomatoes and peppers, or grilled, or roasted and made into a cold dip. Lemon complements the flavor, as do Asian seasonings.
We've selected today's recipes to reflect its international popularity.
- Classic Caponata - A spicy southern Italian relish served at room temperature. Capers and olives add saltiness. Tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic give the dish it's special appeal
- Aubergine Patties - Chopped and firmed up with bread crumbs and egg, these are delicious in a sandwich, instead of hamburgers, or served as a side dish.
- Eggplant Parmesan - Everybody's favorite Italian dish. This is a healthier version that uses crushed cereal and egg substitute, with the slices baked instead of breaded and fried. It's layered with all the delicious flavors of the original.