Exotic Eggplant Dishes

Want to make use of one of the most versatile vegetable treats around? Try any of these six eggplant dishes.

| July/August 1979

The solid, plump, firm-skinned eggplant is one of the handsomest and tastiest vegetables available. Ever since the Moors brought this purple fruit to the Mediterranean region sometime during the Middle Ages, folks in Italy and France (as well as people throughout the Middle East) have been whipping up delicious eggplant dishes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Eggplant Salad Supreme

Broil a good-sized, unpeeled eggplant under a low flame for 20 to 30 minutes, turning it often. When the vegetable is soft, remove its skin (which will slip right off) and mash the "meat" into a pulp. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salad oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Season the mixture to taste with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion salt. Serve the finished dish cold on lettuce leaves for a salad that's just as delicious as it is unusual.

Hearty Eggplant Parmingiana

Peel 1 large eggplant (or use 2 small ones) and cut the fruit into 1/2-inch slices. Dip each piece in beaten egg and then in flour, brown 'em in heated oil, and let the cooked vegetable drain well on brown paper.

When that's done, place a layer of eggplant in a deep casserole and cover it with tomato sauce. (You'll need about 2 cups of tomato sauce in all, or you can use a No. 303 can of prepared meatless spaghetti sauce with mushrooms.) Sprinkle the surface with Parmesan cheese and "top-layer" it with thinly sliced mozzarella. Repeat this sequence until all the eggplant is used, finishing off with the mozzarella. Bake the parmigiana in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes and serve it hot. This exceptionally tasty treat will satisfy five or six hungry people.

Eggplant With Oysters

Here's a special dish for "special company" which can be served either as a vegetable or as the main course.

Halve a two-pound eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the center, leaving a wall about 1/2 inch thick. Chop up the scooped-out sections and saute 'em with 1/2 cup of butter, 1/4 cup of minced onion, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons of minced celery until the onion is golden brown.

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