Eggplant is one of the most used and diverse vegetables out there! Originally a native to India, eggplant is now used all over the world.
Being Italian vegetarian, I love eggplant! It makes a great meat substitute in recipes! I'm going to teach you how to prep an eggplant and one of my favorite ways to cook it! This recipe is so easy and one of my favorite side dishes ever! First off, you need to salt the eggplant: Wash the eggplant and cut off the ends.
Slice the eggplant lengthwise in about 1/4 inch slices. (I'm slicing for my recipe today, but you could also dice or slice widthwise) Place the eggplant slices in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. This draws all the bitterness out of the eggplant.
Let sit for about 30 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. For this recipe I'm going to grill the slices in a grill pan.
You'll know it's done grilling when it's soft and flexible. Next place the slices on a workspace and place a slice of mozzarella cheese, basil leaf and a slice of roma tomato in the center of the eggplant and roll up the edges.
Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and stick into the oven for a couple minutes until the cheese just starts to melt. Serve immediately. These are such tasty, healthy little treats!!
Eggplant is also great diced into some baked macaroni! Eggplant Parmesan and Eggplant Rollatini are some of my favorites too that you can find in previous blogs! Love eggplant rollatini? Try placing a mound of spaghetti inside before you wrap it up for a different version. One of my favorite Indian dishes is Baigan Bhartha which is a combination of smashed eggplant with tomatoes, onions and Indian spices! Super Yummy! Eggplant is also great in Mousaka, Ratatouille or just plain grilled with some garlic, parsley and olive oil.
FUN FACT: Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01 mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking. On average, 20lbs (9 kg) of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.
FUN FACT #2: Eggplant is closely related to the tomato and the potato