I am going to be upfront with you, people. This is not as delicious as eggplant parm. BUT, it is way healthier and easier. That’s worth something, right? My eggplant garden is exploding, so I needed some new cooking methods. I liked it and will certainly make it again, but it does not top the eggplant stuffed with spinach and ricotta. That is divine. I’ll make it/post it next week. In the meantime, this really was quite delicious.
Shown here with my creamy israeli cous-cous (but with whole wheat cous-cous and sauteed mushrooms added…YUM)
- 2 lbs eggplant (~2 large or 3 medium)
- 1 T table salt
- 2 T EVOO
- 4 t good balsamic
- 1 toe garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded mozz (as opposed to grated- just sort of tear it up into small pieces)
- 6 T fresh grated parm
- 3 T fresh basil
- 1/2 C marinara (you can just used good jarred)
- Cut off and discard stem and bottom end of each eggplant. Don’t peel. Cut eggplants crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Lay slices out on a cutting board, sprinkle tops with half the salt, and rub it in with your fingers. Turn eggplant slices over and repeat with remaining salt. Place eggplant in a colander set over bowl or sink and let eggplant stand for 2 to 3 hours.
- Rinse eggplant under cold, running water, rubbing slices lightly in your hands. Shake colander to drain. Lay slices about an inch apart on triple thickness of paper towels or clean dishtowel; cover with another triple layer of towels or clean dishtowel. Using your palms, press each eggplant slice very firmly until it looks green and translucent and feels firm and leathery when pressed between fingertips. You may need to refresh towels if they get too wet. You can do this and refrigerate up to 3 hours before cooking.
- Heat broiler. Mix oil, vinegar, and garlic in small cup. Arrange eggplant slices fairly close together on a baking sheet; brush tops with half of oil mixture. Turn slices over and brush with remaining oil mixture. Broil eggplant slices about 8 inches from heat source until tops turn brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn slices over; broil until other sides lighter brown, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY.
- While broiling, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. When eggplant is broiled on second side, remove and sprinkle slices with cheese mixture; return eggplant to broiler until cheese melts and becomes a little crusty. Sprinkle with basil and serve with marinara.
Good to be back in the kitchen. I had two weeks of crazy travel and fantastic food. Oh my goodness. My honey and I had one meal at The Square in London that was pure insanity. The highlights were a teeny tiny foie gras “ice cream cone” and this crab and pasta “lasagne.” Seriously perfect food. I also went to one restaurant in Paris that was started by one of the world’s best sommeliers. You pick your wine and they just bring you food that pairs well, so you have absolutely no idea what you’re getting until it shows up. It was an adventure!
Anyway, I took a week after that to recover and now I am back and ready to rumble!
I am off for a two-week(ish) trip to fabulous NYC, London and Paris. It’s for work, but I imagine I’ll find a way to sneak in some good times. I’ll start back up in October. Until then, good eating!
Among other things, my mom instilled in me a deep love of Sichuan green beans. That sweet, spicy, sticky glaze sends me over the moon. I am sorry to be the one to tell you this (if you didn’t already know), but most restaurant versions are deep fried. That doesn’t entirely cross it off my list, but I do sort of stop counting it as a “veggie” if it’s primary method of cooking is submersion in hot oil. Call me crazy.
Anywho, I found this recipe on Cooks for stir-fried Sichuan green beans and figured I’d give it a go. I edited it a bit, mostly to eliminate some ground pork. Not that pork wouldn’t be good, but I want a veggie dish. Plus, cutting out the pork, but keeping the sauce the same means that the beans are extra saucy and I like that. Boom
Here they are with an Asian cucumber salad and some of those frozen shrimp potstickers I chefed up awhile back:
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T dry sherry (or vermouth, in a pinch)
- 1 t sugar
- ½ t cornstarch
- ¼ t white pepper
- ¼ t red pepper
- ¼ t dry mustard
- 2 T water
- 2 T veggie oil
- 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T fresh ginger, minced
- 3 scallions, white and green thinly sliced
- 1 t toasted sesame oil
- Stir together soy sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, white pepper, pepper flakes, mustard, and water until sugar dissolves; set aside.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot (just smoking). Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and skins are shriveled and blackened in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. If beans darken too quickly, reduce heat to medium-high.
- Reduce heat to medium-high and add garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (~20 seconds). Stir sauce to recombine and add to pan. Toss and cook until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 seconds.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in scallions and sesame oil. Serve immediately and ENJOY!