If 2012 was the year of sweet potatoes, 2013 is the year of eggplant. I’ve always liked it, and we’ve used it some, but now we use it at least once a week, often more.
First off, let’s just praise eggplant for his beautiful, rich purple color. I’ll paraphrase Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and say, I think it pisses off God when you don’t stop and admire a purple eggplant.
We like to use eggplant in Indian dishes. Eggplant doesn’t get watery like zucchini or squash. It’s a meaty, strong vegetable and holds up nicely in Indian sauces, like Korma and Masala.
Our new favorite dish, Jimmy loves it, is eggplant pizza. The eggplant is thinly sliced and then grilled. We actually “grilled” it using our sandwich press this week, and it worked perfectly. The slices of eggplant are your “crust,” and you add whatever sauce and toppings you want. Then back for a few minutes in the oven until your cheese melts. Ah-mazing and loooooow calorie.
I just tried Eggplant Florentine for the first time last night at Anna’s in Fuquay Varina. My apologies to the universe for having waited so long to enjoy this mastery of eggplant. Sliced eggplant, breaded, and then wrapped around spinach and ricotta. It’s sinful and delicious and better for you than the baked ziti.
This year we are going to grow eggplant in our garden. One little seedling has shown its head this week!
And for those who care, eggplant has some pretty impressive health benefits: high in fiber and a brain food!
Oh and the question we’ve all been wanting to ask, why do they call it an eggplant?
“The name of eggplant was given it by Europeans in the middle of the eighteenth century because the variety they knew had fruits that were the shape and size of goose eggs. That variety also had fruits that are a whitish or yellowish colour rather than the wine purple that is more familiar to us nowadays. So the sort they knew really did look as though it had fruits like eggs.”
And if you thought you understood the eggplant, I’ll leave you with this shocker: technically it’s a fruit. What?!