Recently I was teaching at Byrne Sewing Center's 3-day retreat in Pennsylvania, and on the way back home I stopped at a couple of farmstands. I wanted a big box of vine-ripened tomatoes to freeze for tomato pie at Christmas. I also picked up some gorgeous eggplant, corn, peaches and watermelon. During the time I was in high school my family lived on a small farm, and the last couple of days have taken me back to those years as I've shared, cooked, and frozen all that wonderful produce!
So, here is my favorite recipe for eggplant (click on the title or the photo).
Slices of eggplant wrapped around a filling of feta, lemon, mint, pine nuts and raisins are SOOOO good! It freezes really well, so make extra and freeze it for dinner another day.
Here are some of my tweaks to make this even more delicious!
Preparing the eggplant: be sure to sweat it to remove the bitterness. Slice it thin (a little less than 1/4" is good -- see the photo below), rub each side with a little bit of salt, then let it sit in a colandar for 30 minutes. Some dark juice will drain out. Rinse well and pat dry. (Don't add salt to the dish until you taste and see if it is needed, as there will be some salt on the eggplant already.)
Instead of frying the eggplant, brush it lightly with olive oil, then lay it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 F. Slide the parchment off the sheet and re-line it for the next batch so the eggplant can cool on the parchment while you bake the next batch. You can roll up the eggplant on the parchment if you want to store it in the fridge until the next day.
(Even though some pieces of eggplant will be too small to roll up, roast them too, then blend them with olive oil, tahini, lemon and garlic to make babaganoush.)
Also, I like to season the tomatoes a bit, using the foundation ingredients I learned to cook with in Argentina: start with "aceite, ajo y perejil" -- olive oil, garlic and parsley. I also add just a pinch of crushed red pepper. Then pour the tomatoes into the mix and let it simmer while you roll the filling into the eggplant alices.
To cut perfect 1/4" slices, I "MacGyvered" this:
Happy Quilting (and Eating)! ~ RaNae
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