Tag: eggplant

7 Easy Salads Starring 7 Summer Vegetables

by in Healthy Recipes, July 20, 2014

cherry tomato salad

Tomatoes? Check. Corn and cucumber? Double check. The next time you overdo it at the farmers market, you know what to do: Let’s get some salad up in here!

Cherry Tomatoes: Cherry Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Basil and garlic elicit their savory side, but these little tomatoes, tossed in buttermilk-sour cream dressing, also know how to sweet-talk.

Read more

7 Ways to Fire Up Summer Vegetables

by in Healthy Recipes, July 13, 2014

grilled ratatouille
Just a few minutes of scorching heat will transform any farmers market find into charred, perfectly smoky bliss.

Grilled Ratatouille Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
A swirl of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and rings of red bell pepper and red onion —  combined with olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh basil — turn this dish into a colorful, barbecue-perfect side salad. Read more

Eggplant Rollatini, Lightened Up

by in Robin's Healthy Take, October 9, 2013

eggplant rollatini
I’m an Italian girl at heart. Only half by birth, but 100 percent when it comes to food. Take eggplant rollatini for example–a classic, baked Italian dish that boasts eggplant slices stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheese and then rolled up and smothered with tomato sauce and more cheese. Sometimes the eggplant slices are breaded and fried first (think rolled eggplant Parmesan). As you can imagine, it’s not the lightest dish on the menu. In fact, one serving can deliver up to 600 calories, 38 grams of fat and 900 mg of sodium. Ouch. But, there’s hope!

Read more

Market Watch: Heirloom Eggplants

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, August 4, 2013

heirloom eggplant
Most passersby ooh and ahh over these fantastically gorgeous nightshade veggies and then pass on buying them because they have no idea what to do with them! I’m here to help.

You certainly won’t come across these gorgeous gnarly varieties of eggplant in your local large chain grocery store. White, striped and even pumpkin-shaped — these oddly-shaped eggplants are mild and sweet and can be enjoyed in any eggplant recipe. They work especially well for roasting, grilling and other recipes where a perfect round shape isn’t necessary.

These eggplants go by names like Rosa Bianca and Pandora Striped; ask farmers at the market which varieties they’re growing.

Recipes To Try:
Eggplant Salad
Eggplant Ricotta Bites
Roasted Eggplant Spread
Grilled Eggplant with Yogurt and Mint
Roasted Eggplant Salad (Baingan-Bharta)
Pork Tenderloin with Eggplant Relish

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

Summer Fest: Going Meatless With Eggplant

by in Uncategorized, August 29, 2012

I was vegetarian for about 16 years of my life. It was the lifestyle my parents were used to, so that was just the way they raised me. While I was vegetarian, I operated primarily on the Indian lentils-rice-vegetable diet. In other words, whatever my mother fed me was what I ate. Unfortunately, the one vegetable my mother hated was eggplant, so I went the majority of my childhood and young adult life unexposed to what I later realized was a truly fabulous vegetable. These babies are actually a vegetarian’s best friend. They are hearty, flavorful and actually filling on their own in a way that few other vegetables are. They are also currently in season. Take advantage of this tasty vegetable by trying it as a substitute for meat in some classic dishes – whether or not you are vegetarian, you won’t miss the meat with these healthy and flavorful recipes!

Love Chicken Parmesan? Make Eggplant Parmesan instead

This one may be the most obvious, but Robin’s version is lightened up and given a kick of chili pepper.

Recipe: Robin’s Neapolitan Eggplant Parmesan

Craving a Ham and Cheese Tortilla? Try a Vegetable Tortilla instead

Eggplant, along with onions, tomatoes, zucchini and green bell pepper give this frittata loads of interesting texture and flavor.

Recipe: Vegetable Tortilla (above)

Read more

Eggplant 5 Ways

by in 1 Food, 5 Ways, August 17, 2012

eggplant
We all love good old eggplant parm, but this nightshade veggie is much more versatile. Here are five sensational summer recipes.

Grilled and Glazed
The char of the grill brings out the smoky sweetness of this veggie – perfect with savory and tangy hoisin sauce.

Recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Hoisin Eggplant (pictured above)

Read more

Eggplant, Your Summer Friend

by in Robin's Healthy Take, June 8, 2012
eggplant
Use eggplant for more than just eggplant parm.

Eggplant is often relegated to two things: eggplant parmesan and ratatouille. Don’t get me wrong, I love both (and I’m sure I’ve blogged about and written recipes for both), but there’s much more to the beloved aubergine (French for the gorgeous purple vegetable).

Eggplant is a sponge and absorbs the flavors of anything it’s partnered with. It soaks up garlic, wine, tomatoes, herbs — you name it. It’s a chameleon in purple clothing. Nutritionally speaking, eggplant has loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. One phytonutrient, nasunin, is found in the purple skin and is a potent free-radical scavenger that protects cell membranes from damage.

Caponata is another popular dish featuring eggplant, so I’m not taking a giant leap when it comes to recipe development. BUT, it’s summer party time and caponata makes an excellent addition to your appetizer and h’ordeuvres assortment. My recipe boasts a thick and rich blend of eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, capers and red wine vinegar. Right before serving, I fold in basil for a burst of fresh flavor. Traditional caponata is served with pine nuts sprinkled on top but I chose toasted slivered almonds for their sweetness – they pair perfectly with the tanginess of tomatoes, vinegar and capers.

Read more

Market Watch: Japanese Eggplant (and an Easy Eggplant Dip Recipe)

by in Farmers' Market Finds, September 12, 2011

eggplant spread
When tiny, cutie-pie eggplants turned up in my CSA box, they were a little small for eggplant parm, but that’s not where my eggplant options end.

Get our quick eggplant dip recipe »

Make Your Own Babaganoush

by in Healthy Recipes, August 16, 2011
It's easier than you think to make this restaurant favorite at home.

My family originates from the Middle East so it’s traditional to find babaganoush alongside typical appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread, pickled vegetables and olives. Here are the basics to making a killer babaganoush.

The Eggplant

Babaganoush is basically a pureed eggplant salad. It’s typically used as a condiment or dip for veggies and pita bread. Make babaganoush by selecting a shiny and firm eggplant that’s heavy for its size. Rev up your oven and roast it for about 30 to 40 minutes until the center is tender. Some recipes call for peeled and diced or sliced eggplant, while others tell you to bake it whole. The main goal is to get the inside of the eggplant soft enough so you can puree it.

Read more

In Season: Eggplant

by in In Season, July 25, 2011
grilled eggplant Food Network Magazine’s Hoisin Eggplant.

Grilled eggplant is a summer favorite, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy this scrumptious delight. Check out these fun eggplant facts (did you know it’s a fruit?) and healthy, delicious recipes.

When, Where, & What?
Eggplants (Solanum melongena, Solanaceae) are part of the nightshade family along with peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. They were originally named after eggplants found in Europe that resembled an egg in shape and color. Eggplants only became acceptable to eat in the U.S. about 50 years ago; prior to that, folks believed that eating it caused insanity, leprosy and cancer.

Eggplants grow on vines, similar to tomatoes, and can be found in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. They can be white, purple, black or green and vary in length. Their shape can be spherical, curved, or long and narrow. The most common eggplants have a deep purple skin with a teardrop shape and are about 8 to 10 inches long.

Eggplants have a spongy flesh, meaty texture, and slightly bitter taste (the skin is especially bitter). Female eggplants contain more seeds and are more bitter, while male eggplants contain less seeds and have a slightly sweeter flavor. To determine the sex of an eggplant, check  the bottom: a female will have a deep indentation shaped like a dash while a male eggplant will have a shallow, round indentation.

The largest producers of eggplants in the U.S. include Florida, New Jersey and California. They’re also grown in Mexico, China, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Japan. Popular varieties include Black Beauty, Rosa Bianca, Classic, Orient Express, Black Italian, Japanese, Lavender and Cloud 9. Eggplants are in peak season from July through October.

Read more