Weekday Vegetarian: Using Up Eggplant from the Garden
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
I wrote last week about how well the eggplant is doing in my garden and the eggplant stack I made, and this week my daughter brought a whole bunch more to the cottage. There are so many things you can do with eggplant and so many different flavours it works with. Although I love Asian-style eggplant dishes with soy sauce and hot chilies, I was feeling like making something more Mediterranean. I had some beautiful fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes and from the farmers' market and some fresh basil from my garden, so I did a quick sautee and had an instant pasta sauce.You could serve this eggplant dish with just about anything. It would be fantastic over polenta, rice, pasta, grilled tofu, or even toast. I wanted to make a drier sauce, but you could add a bit of vegetable stock and cook it a bit longer to make a thicker kind of sauce for pasta. You could also use any fresh herbs you have such as thyme, oregano, basil or marjoram. If you leave it as is, it's a vegan dish, otherwise you could top it with some Parmesan cheese, or even put it over a top of a warm brie. Putting it over some sauteed swiss chard or spinach would also be delicious. The possibilities are endless.
Photo: Emma Alter
Because my eggplant had just been picked, I didn't salt it. Usually people do that to remove any bitterness from the eggplant, but these were so sweet and tender, they didn't need any help at all. You may find you have to add more oil to the pan while the eggplant is cooking, to keep it from drying out and sticking. Just be careful not to add too much, because eggplant will soak up as much oil as you give it, and you might end up with a greasy dish.
Eggplant and Tomato
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant, diced
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
10 green or kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
handful of basil, thyme, or oregano, or a mixture of herbs, roughly chopped
1. In a skillet, heat oil. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, about another 2 minutes.
2. Add eggplant, adding more olive oil if necessary. Cook until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and olives and cook until the tomatoes have softened and thrown off their liquid.
3. Stir in chopped fresh herbs.