Eggplant. Is it as much a mystery to you as it is to me? Actually considered a berry, this fruit is something I always considered a bit scary or intimidating…something I hadn’t eaten much of, so I pretty much stayed away from it. I know raw it is bitter. That’s enough to keep a girl away for sure…and any time I had eaten eggplant, it was fried to a crisp. Not exactly what my staying healthy diet would call for.
Until I found this recipe. I present to you rich, complexly flavored eggplant. Not bitter, not fried. Delicious. And if you are a vegan, this is perfect for you.
- 2 med eggplants cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp crushed black pepper
- Heat up your skillet to medium high before you cut your eggplant. (Make the skillet wait for you, not the other way around)
- In a bowl, put eggplant slices, all your spices and your oil.
- Toss this around until all slices are completely and evenly coated.
- In the medium high skillet, place all slices down, making sure they are all even on the surface and that none are overlapping. (If you need to do 2 or more rounds of cooking, that’s fine since it takes no time at all)
- Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown or until spices are blackened-your preference.
- You can eat these yummy eggplant slices as the main dish or on top of whole wheat pasta with olive oil and vinegar. SO GOOD. I promise.
Now, picking your eggplant correctly at the store does go a long way to the overall flavor of your dish. Too large an eggplant will create a bitter dish. Picking a small eggplant would result in harder texture since this one was probably picked before it was ripe. Choose a medium sized eggplant compared to all the others and you should be safe. Avoid the ones with any soft or brown spots.
For firmness checking, press your finger on the side of the eggplant. If the skin bounces back, that’s a good one. (squishing in-not a good sign. not being able to push in at all, too hard) Also, make sure it is heavier than it looks. If it’s lightweight, tap on it. If it sounds hollow-throw it back. (If you actually throw it, take a video. I want to see…haha)
Bring home your perfect eggplant and make sure you eat it within about 2 days for the best tasting fruit. If you wait longer, just peel the skin off and you’re fine.
I hope you enjoy your eggplant!!
For a printable version: