If you ever walk by the pile of eggplants at the grocery store and stare at them in a state of utter confusion, you’re not alone. Eggplant may be a relatively common vegetable, but many people simply don’t know how to approach it. The thing is, eggplant can be thoroughly delicious if you learn how to cook it properly, and it’s not nearly as hard as you might think.
Looking to up your eggplant game? Here are a few tips to get you started.
When you have to be out the door and don’t have a lot of time to devote to cooking, there are only a few different cooking techniques that you can really afford to use, and stir-frying is one of them. Cubed, skinned eggplant holds up extremely well in a stir-fry, and it has a meatier texture than most other vegetables, lending a sense of “umami” to the dish. Hit it with a sweet, tangy sauce and serve over rice.
We love this recipe for eggplant stir-fry, which combines the nightshade with tofu.
Slicing an eggplant in long, thin strips allows you to use it in a variety of different ways, perhaps most effectively being as part of rollatini. Eggplant rollatini is a classic Italian dish that requires one to roll the eggplant up like a wrap around a filling of cheese, herbs and anything else you might want to get fancy with. Once assembled, the eggplant “rolls” are baked with a red sauce. It’s definitely going to take some extra time to put this dish together, but you’ll be happy you did.
Here’s a recipe for eggplant rollatini we can’t recommend highly enough.
If there’s one preparation of eggplant that most people are familiar with, it’s eggplant parmesan. The nightshade is sliced, breaded, fried and then baked with mozzarella cheese and red sauce to create a dish that is as American as it is Italian. Since this dish is relatively easy to make and extremely popular, it’s a great place to start if you’re just now getting acquainted with eggplant. Serve over spaghetti, and smile.
A lot of people don’t realize just how delicious eggplant can be when it’s served cold. Sure, it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you stare at an eggplant, but give it a shot, and you’re bound to be blown away by the end result. Eggplant pairs extremely well with fresh grape tomatoes in salad form, and with a shave of cheese and some basil on top, you’ve got yourself an excellent dish that can be served either as an appetizer or a main course. Just be sure to go easy with the salt, as it can really come through in a cold dish like this.
Want to make it? Try this recipe for roasted eggplant and tomato salad.
So don’t let eggplant give you the run-around any longer. Learn how to work with it, and you’ll be back in the driver’s seat.
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