There are so many ways you can prepare eggplants, but when they are really fresh, I like to use a simple recipe to allow the fresh flavor of the eggplant to shine through. This recipe is just as good at room temperature as it is warm, and leftovers are delicious the next day. Choose dark purple, firm skinned eggplants for the best results.
The eggplant is often considered to be the Queen of southern Italian vegetables, very popular in such regions as Calabria, Sicily, Puglia, Campania, and Sardinia. The eggplant, or melanzane, is a member of the nightshade family, the same family as the tomato and potato. Originally thought to be from India, it was introduced to the Italians by the Saracens or Jews, during their Holy War travels. It is said to have appeared first in Italian cookbooks at the end of the fifteenth century. Low in both calories and nutritional value, it was thought to improve digestion, and induce a state of well-being. Many people are quite opinionated about this simple vegetable, either eyeing it with frank distaste, or discussing it lovingly, eagerly sharing their favorite methods of preparation. I am in the latter group and am always searching for new ways to prepare eggplant!
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Medium Eggplants
- 2 Large Cloves Of Garlic, Peeled And Cut Into Slits
- 1 Slice Of Pecorino Cheese, Cut Into Thin Slivers
- 2 Large Plum Tomatoes Cut Into Slices
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Washed And Chopped
- 4 Tablespoons olive Oil
- Salt And Pepper
- 3/4 Cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt And Pepper
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F.
- Wash the eggplants, and cut them in half lengthwise.
- With a sharp knife, cut 6 slits crossways in each eggplant half, taking care not to cut all the way through the skin at the bottom.
- In alternate slits, push in the tomato slices in one, the cheese in another and the garlic and parsley in the third.
- Complete filling the last three slits in the same fashion.
- Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes on a baking sheet, or until the flesh of the eggplant pierces easily with a fork.
- Mix together the topping ingredients, and sprinkle them over the eggplant halves.
- Bake until the crumb topping begins to brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 13mg Sodium: 523mg Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 13g Protein: 10g