Weirdo of the Week: Eggplant!

I’ll be honest. I hated trying to eat anything with eggplant while I was growing up. Right up there with zucchini, it was. It looked weird and tasted like unidentifiable vegetable pretending to be meat. Thank goodness those dark ages are over! Now that I know what to do to tame these purpley beasts, I can say alright eggplant! Time for eggplant parm and…well, what else is there to do with this thing anyway?

One of our favorite ways to take advantage of this cousin to tomatoes is to make a big batch of “burgers”. Eggplant burgers are a must have in our freezer for quick meals on those weeknights that sneak up on us. This version from the Farm Cafe in Portland is our no fail go to. This is one time where I will actually salt larger eggplant before using it in the recipe. Getting as much moisture out as possible means the burgers don’t absorb as much oil, staying nice and crispy as a result. If you want to make them last like we do, make patties to freeze ahead of time, then fry ’em up when you’re ready to make dinner!

Up the umami of your eggplant bounty with Asian flavors like ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil, as in Mama’s weird eggplant. I bet this stuff is great with pita bread! The recipe calls for using the microwave, but if you’re averse to that sort of thing, just put your eggplant in the oven while cooking up anything else, and it’s ready once it gets nice and soft.

Speaking of Asian flavors, we’d be remiss not to mention a mouth watering curry. Check out this dish made with roasted eggplant, coconut milk and cardamom.

Yep, this week’s delicious weirdo is quite a world away from the mystery veggie of my youth!

For more background about eggplant and how to care for and use it, look here.
For even more recipes, look here.

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