Monday, January 30, 2012

3 ways to cook Eggplant

Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables. There are a couple of ways I like to cook them, I'll start from the heavy one and tell you the diet friendly version next!

Here's a recipe that my grandmother taught me, it comes from Napoli and it's called

1. Melanzane Fungitiello.

Ingredients for 2 people:
1 large eggplant
2 cloves of garlic
2 small hot peppers
1 large fresh tomato or 4 cherry tomatoes (diced)
2 spoons of tomato sauce or tomato paste
1 spoon of water
wait for it....
A LOT of extra virgin olive oil! 

Pour a generous serving of oil into the frying pan. Add the garlic, let it brown. 
Break the hot peppers and add them to the oil and garlic. 
Cut the eggplants in cubes and fry them in the pan with everything else. The eggplant is like a sponge, it will absorb all the oil but it will give it back later once it's cooked. 
Add the fresh tomatoes,  the tomato paste, the water.
Adjust with salt. 
Cover and let it cook for 6/10 minutes. 
Serve hot by itself, on a piece of toasted rustic bread, as a side, or with your favorite pasta. It's delicious. Plan on digesting it slowly...

2. Grilled Eggplant with Spicy Fresh Tomato Spread (diet friendly)

For 2 people:
1 eggplant sliced for grilling
about 7 cherry tomatoes 
a few leaves of basil
hot peppers

Put some salt and just a tiny bit of oil on the raw eggplants before grilling them. Cooking time about 5 min per side. Make sure the grill is really hot before you start cooking them otherwise they boil and they turn out disgusting...!

On the side prepare my special fresh tomato spread
Basically just throw the tomatoes, hot peppers, basil, oil and salt in a blender/mixer and turn it into a cream. 

Now that everything is ready lay the grilled eggplant on a plate and put a teaspoon of tomato sauce on each slice. mmm... delicious! 
The tomato spread puts a whole different spin on grilled vegetables, you're not gonna be able to eat them without it anymore! 

3. Eggplant Pizza (diet friendly)

For two people:
2 small eggplants, nice and firm
1 tomato

Set the oven on HIGH. 

Cut the eggplants down the length. With a sharp knife cut squares into the pulp without breaking the leathery skin. Now push the eggplant in the opposite way of its natural shape. At this point thanks to all the cuts you've made you should be able to take it out of the "shell" and put it in a pan. 

Sear it in olive oil, a spoon of water and garlic. Add the tomatoes cut into cubes. Let it cook. Adjust with salt. Add basil. 

Put some olive oil in the shells and put them on a cookie sheet and in the oven until the pulp it's cooked. 

Take the shells out of the oven. Place a spoon of the seared eggplant back in it's shell, add the mozzarella on top and the oregano. 

Set the oven on BROIL and let the mozzarella brown. A-mazing! This seems like a difficult and long process but it's not. It takes longer to explain it then to do it. I hope you had the patience to read the whole thing...! 


Have a great day! 

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