I love eggplant!! And tis the season that I am consistently getting them off my plants in the garden. Even though they may not offer a high amount of vitamins (one cup contains 2-5% of recommended levels of vitamin B1, B6, and C) they offer their own dose of nutritional value in other categories. Eggplants are a great source of potassium, phytonutrients, dietary fiber and magnesium. They are a wonderful low calorie, dense food that helps those dieters feel full and they are a very low sodium food.
Best prep for eggplant is to cut and sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Eggplant has a naturally occurring enzyme that can leave a bitter aftertaste. The salt helps it to “sweat” this bitterness out to ensure its sweet nuttiness comes through in your cooking and also helps get rid of the excess water eggplant has. This is especially important when frying.
Eggplants can be cooked in a variety of dishes. I love the fact that whatever you put it in, eggplant soaks up the flavors it is cooked with. When we grill, one of our favorite sides to do is zucchini and yellow squash wrapped in foil and put right alongside our meat on the grill (seasoned to your liking). Since we have an overabundance of eggplant right now, we have been cutting it up and putting it in our foil pack! So good!!
My family loved it when I put it in the electric skillet!! I browned some sausage, and added cut eggplant (instead of potatoes) and chopped cabbage. Simmered together, the eggplant was soft and soaked up all the wonderful flavors. Same can be done in the slow cooker with hamburger, diced tomatoes, cut up eggplant and seasoned to your liking. So easy and delicious!!
How do you like to cook your eggplant?