Flavor: Delicately soft and sweet flesh with a slightly nutty flavor.
Benefits: As part of the nightshade family, eggplant is closely related to the tomato and potato and is actually classified as a berry and not a vegetable. Eggplant is high in dietary fiber and rich in Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6 and manganese.
Storage Tips: Eggplant are sensitive to cold temperatures and will keep best stored uncut and unwashed in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. Use within one week.
Cooking and Preparation: Can be steamed, sauteed, grilled, baked, stewed, roasted and fried. There really are innumerable ways to prepare eggplant. When using larger or a tad bit older fruits, it is a good idea to salt the eggplant after it has been cut. Cut the eggplant into the desired size, lay it out on a cutting board, sprinkle kosher salt over the pieces and allow to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it in a colander under cool water to remove residual salt. This method will help reduce bitterness and reduce the amount of oil absorbed during the cooking process.
Marinated chicken and sauteed ratatouille with Cherry tomato grille sauce
ime: 45 minutes
2 lbs. chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1 cup plus 1 cup Cherry tomato grille sauce
Note: If you don't have the time (who does) to slowly simmer your own grille sauce, just take 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, wash, stem and quarter them and add to your favorite store bought grille sauce. I really like Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Tomato Grille Sauce.
Marinate the chicken breast halves in 1 cup of Cherry tomato grille sauce. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
1 small eggplant, with tender skin 1 medium red pepper 1 small zucchini 1 small red onion 2 tbsp. olive oil
Wash and trim ends off eggplant and zuchini and slice into 1 inch wide pieces at a 45 degree angle. Stem and remove seeds from red pepper. Slice into 1 inch wide strips. Peel onion and quarter. Toss vegetables lightly with olive oil.
In a large wok or frying pan, saute vegetables over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender. When finished remove from heat and toss with 1 cup grille sauce.
Cook chicken in a saute pan over medium high heat for approximately 5 minutes on each side.
Serve marinated chicken and sauteed ratatouille over whole wheat couscous.
Cherry tomato grille sauce
Time: 30 minutes
1 large can whole plum tomatoes
1 quart cherry tomatoes 1 small onion 4 cloves of garlic 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. dried oregano 1 tbsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white vinegar 1/3 Cup lemon juice 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup molasses 2 tbsp. soy sauce
Peel and mince the onion and garlic and then saute in olive oil with oregano, garlic powder and salt in a medium sized sauce pan, once onions are translucent, turn heat to low.
Meanwhile, wash, stem and quarter cherry tomatoes and gently toss in with onion and garlic mixture, cooking for an additional minute.
Pour juice from the plum tomatoes into the sauce pan and allow to stew for a few minutes.
Dice the whole plum tomatoes and add to the pan.
Add vinegar, lemon juice, molasses, brown sugar and soy sauce to the vegetables and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.