Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eggplant - here are the top 2 ways to mouth-watering perfection!

If you have eaten eggplant in the past and not enjoyed it (join the ranks of my husband), this post may or not be for you. I must say this right now though - how eggplant is cooked makes or breaks it. I will give you my two best cooking methods.

I LOVE eggplant. It is my absolute, number one favourite vegetable. I think it is perfect. I could eat them every day and not get tired of their creamy texture and subtle flavour. What's even better is that eggplant is ideal for my nutrition programme - it is low-carb and fat-free. And to top it all off, they are supremely filling. I slap half an eggplant on my plate at dinner with a side of steak, and I am so full, there is no hankering for any dessert afterwards!

My husband loathes 'aubergine' as he calls them and then performs an eloquent gagging noise. Apparently he was put off them before my time. So, he will happily cook them up to perfection on the barbecue for me but won't ingest them for love nor money. More recently, my three-year-old son has taken a liking to them and, as much as it pains me, I have to hand over a few slices whenever he sees them on my dinner plate.

So, what's the secret to mouth-watering, addictive eggplant??

Here are my top two methods for cooking: (there is no need to salt & rinse eggplant these days - the bitterness has been bred out):

1. Sizzled on the barbecue: Cut eggplant into 1 cm slices - do not remove the skin (any thinner and they will dry up, any thicker and they won't get cooked through before the outside is burnt). Brush lightly with olive oil. Heat barbecue plate to medium heat and cook eggplant slices until they are lightly browned on both sides (turning only once) and squidgy in the middle. Sprinkle with your favourite salt - eat immediately.

2. Baked in the oven: Pre-heat oven to 180 deg Celcius. Cut eggplant in half long-ways. Brush both cut-side halves lightly & thoroughly with olive oil. Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray, lay eggplant skin-side down (cut-side up). Bake for approximately 35-45 mins depending on the size of the eggplant. It should be quite brown on top and squidgy in the middle. Sprinkle with your favourite salt - eat immediately.

Please try some soon!

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