A month chock-full of delicious recipes all featuring eggplant: what a delight!
Srimathi of Few Minute Wonders starts the series of Indian dishes (there will be several more in this roundup) with a "side dish that is spicy and tangy and can be eaten with rice." The dish is Enna/ Oil Kathrika/ Eggplant Kozhambu/Gravy.
To make it, Srimathi uses an appam pan, though a regular wok can also be used.
Jayashree of My Experiments With Food "decided to stick the eggplant in the microwave. The rest, as they say, is history." Note that you still need to make slits on the surface of the eggplant before you microwave it (see below).
The microwaved eggplant was then used to make baingan bharta.
The stuffed eggplants are then fried on a slow simmer: "the result is a wonderfully stuffed and almost (but not quite) charred mixture."
Cinzia of Bread and Cherries brings us from India to Italy to taste a classic dish: Parmigiana di Melanzane, which "with some variations is very common in all of Southern Italy. In Naples the eggplants’ slices are just cut and fried, in the internal regions of Campania they are coated with flour and eggs."
After this introduction, Cinzia shares with us her family's traditional recipe. Step-by-step accompany her description.
- Grilled Skirt Steak over Grilled Eggplant and Salsa Verde Black Beans Cilantro Garnish
- Salad of Grilled Eggplant and Slow Roasted Tomato with Bûcheron Dijon Vinaigrette (photo)
- Festonati Pasta, Grilled Eggplant, Homegrown Tomato Topped with Grated Smoked Scamorza, Fresh Basil Olive Oil, Garlic, Red Chile Flakes
- Grilled Eggplant, Melting Scamorza Homegrown Tomatoes, Fresh Basil with Garlic Anchovy Oil
Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi tell us about Kashk, fermented whey, which is used in Iranian cuisine. I must admit I did not know about this food.
With it, they made Kashk e Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Spread), which they served with rye crackers. If you don't have access to a jar of kashk, do not be discouraged: "Don’t hesitate to make this even without kashk. It is delicious drizzled with plain yogurt/sour cream or on its own."
"The wonderful charred flavor of the eggplant is only enhanced with a boldly flavorful tapenade of savory roasted red peppers, salty olives, and fragrant fresh herbs."
Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook shares with us her own recipe for a dish "flavored with ras el hanout [a complex Moroccan spice that, depending on the preparer, can contain up to 50 ingredients], preserved lemon and currants, a celebrated Middle Eastern specialty that satisfies spicy, salty and sweet cravings in the same dish": Stovetop Eggplant Tagine.
It is "especially good the next day after flavors meld and develop."
Then she (virtually) traveled all the way from Vietnam to Sicily to make Pasta Alla Norma. This famous dish honors the bounty of the island and one of its sons, the composer Vincenzo Bellini and his great opera, Norma.
We go back to India in the company of UjjU of Cuisine Point.
She offers us Baingun Bhaja and tells us that "Baingun (Brinjal / Eggplant in Hindi) Bhaja is a bengali dry curry, served as part of a traditional wedding feast along with rice creations. It also makes a good appetizer."
And then we are back in Italy with Astrofiammante of Mangiare è un pò come viaggiare (Eating is a bit like traveling). Her Zuccottino di melanzana ripieno [recipe in Italian] is made by shaping roasted eggplant shells into domes and filling them first with chopped eggplant pulp (seasoned with roasted garlic and parsley), then with finely chopped cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and basil and finally with more eggplant pulp.
You may also take a look at her carpaccio di melanzane marinate agli agrumi.
Shail tells us that some in her "family love it, but some are very wary of it. But Baigan always turns out tasty."
It's Italy now, this time in the company of this event's creator, Marta, a.k.a An Italian in the US. She made two versions of Melanzane alla Parmigiana then submitted them to the taste buds of a circle of trusted friends asking them to choose their favorite version. They were all more than happy to comply with her request. I won't reveal the verdict here: find out on her blog.
"In any case, whichever version you choose: this dish is a winner."
I told the story of a memorable melanzana disaster that should serve as a warning: never forget to cut some slits on an eggplant before roasting it.
After years of avoiding roasting whole eggplants, I took the plunge and made a melanzana arrosto that becomes a tasty spread with the addition of various ingredients, including labneh.
I hope you have enjoyed this culinary itinerary celebrating eggplant in many delicious dishes. Marta, An Italian in the US, will host the next edition of her event and she has just announced the theme: pears.
If you want to participate, here are the simple rules:
- Put a post on your blog with a recipe involving pears. Add a link to the announcement and mention that it's an entry for the Fresh produce of the month event. If you like it, feel free to place the logo of the pear-centered event on your post.
- Send an email with a link to your post, your blog homepage and your name to Marta at chemcookitATgmailDOTcom. Specify 'Fresh produce of the month: Pears' as subject.
- If you don't have a blog just send Marta an email with your recipe and, if you have a picture of the food you made, that's even better: she will add it to the roundup as well.
The deadline for entry submission will be October 31st (not an easy day to forget).