I was looking for something different to do with eggplant this evening and came across this recipe on the All About Italian Food website. It’s quick, simple and very tasty. Pair it with a grilled piece of meat, a hearty romaine salad and you have yourself a delicious dinner.
Eggplants are a seasonal treat, abundant this time of the year at Farmers Markets and through CSA’s. The most commonly cultivated and marketed eggplants are the large oblong, purple-skinned variety, typically found in the grocery stores. However, many heirloom varieties, such as Casper, Listada de Gandia, Rosa Bianca and Violetta de Firenze, which are grown here on the farm, are smaller and very beautiful. In recipes, eggplants can be used interchangeably; however for this recipe the smaller eggplants are best – especially if they are organic and local. The larger eggplants absorb too much oil and often leave water while cooking.
Eggplants are low in calories and high in fiber. By themselves, they offer very small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Paired with other vegetables and herbs, like the tomatoes and parsley in this recipe they become a delicious, nutritious addition to your meal.
Baked Eggplant with Tomato and Cheese
Wash eggplants, cutting off the hard leaves. Cut in half lengthwise. Place on cookie sheet, cut side down and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (until they are soft and deflated and can be pierced with a fork).
While eggplants are baking, chop tomatoes in small cubes, mince parsley and garlic. Grate or slice cheese. The recipe on this website states that you can use any cheese – for this recipe my choice was Parmesan Reggiano).
Remove eggplants from oven. Turn over so that the skin side is down. Brush with olive oil and dress with minced parsley and garlic, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle remaining olive oil lightly over top.
Return to oven for approximately 15 minutes until cheese is melted and eggplants are ready to eat. Bon appetit!
Beech Springs Farm is a small family farm near Gettysburg, PA. The farm is open to the public by appointment only.
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