Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables. They are purple (my favorite color) & so versatile: use them either oven-roasted, in a stew, on the BBQ, as a spread, … It took me some time to understand how to prepare eggplant well, to obtain the perfect tenderness of the flesh of this beautiful vegetable, without the bitter taste.
Eggplants are in season from august to october. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper, as well as a good source of vitamins B6 and K and of manganese. Make sure you eat the skin as it’s rich in antioxidants. It is generally discouraged by healthcare practitioners to eat eggplant if you have untreated kidney or gallbladder problems, because of the high content of oxalates. More information about the health benefits of eggplants can be found here.
For 4 persons, as a side dish
- 2 medium sized eggplants
- 2 tbsp of olive or sesame oil
- a dash of lemon juice
- 1 cm of ginger
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 0,5 tsp of miso (I used black miso)
- Himalaya or sea salt
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Cut the stem end and bottom off the eggplant, then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the flesh with a knife, cutting deep into the flesh but not through the skin. Cut diagonal lines going about 2 cm apart, then turn the eggplant around and cut again so you have a diamond pattern.
- Sprinkle salt on the eggplant halves and leave to rest (sweat) for about 30 minutes or longer.
- In the meantime peal the ginger, and add it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend into a nice liquid mixture.
- Gently squeeze out the excess water and salt from the eggplant halves above the sink and pat dry with paper towels or a clean towel.
- Apply the mixture (prepared under 4) on the eggplant halves with a brush making sure it also seeps into the cut flesh.
- Put the eggplant halves face-down on a baking sheet.
- Roast the eggplant for about 35-40 minutes, or until the back of the eggplant looks collapsed.
- Let the eggplant cool for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. It can be scooped out of the peel for use in dips, or eaten plain with its antioxidant-rich peel and a extra sprinkle of lemon juice.