Archive for the 'Eggplant' Category

Vegetable Moussaka

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Joy Vargo, Tucson CSA


3 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

1/2 cup (about) olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 cup finely chopped peeled carrots

1 cup finely chopped bell peppers

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound yellow potatoes, unpeeled, diced small

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 cup grated/crumbled cheese (feta, chevre or parmesan)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

7 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 1/2 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks


Preheat oven to 425. Cover 2 baking sheets with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant rounds with salt. Arrange eggplant in single layer atop towels. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove eggplant and paper towels from baking sheets and pat dry.

Brush baking sheets and both sides of eggplant slices with 1/4 cup oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes then flip eggplant and rotate pans in oven. Continue baking until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onion, carrots and bell peppers. Sauté until potatoes & carrots are very tender, about 12 minutes. Mix in garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Add tomatoes and parsley. Cook until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of eggplant rounds in single layer in dish. Spoon half of tomato mixture evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, tomato mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese.

To make a béchamel sauce for the top: Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot sauce. Pour sauce over vegetables in dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Bake moussaka until heated through and sauce is golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Roasted Bell Peppers and Eggplant Dip

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Philippe, Tucson CSA

2-3 bell peppers
1 large or 2-3 small eggplant
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Cut eggplant, onions and bell peppers in cubes.  Add to a large bowl with oil, garlic and cumin, and toss until well coated with oil.  Spread on baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender and browned, tossing once for even roasting.  If you are using already roasted bell peppers, omit them at this stage and add them at the next stage.

Let cool.  Add to food processor with tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste and blend to obtain a slightly chunky puree.

Can be used as a spread or as a dip.

Note: you can also add 2-3 cubed sweet potatoes to the roasting mix.

Grilled Corn and Shrimp (or Eggplant) Salad

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Lorraine Glazar, Tucson CSA

Serves four as a main course

4 ears fresh corn
1 large or two small red bell peppers
1 pound jumbo shrimp or eggplant
4 green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (red or white)
1 tablespoon lemon juice.
About ½ lb. greens – lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, etc.

Pull back the husks of the corn, and pull off as many silks as you can.  Re-cover the corn with the husks.  Quarter the bell pepper lengthwise (or halve if small).  Skewer the shrimp on double skewers (or peel and cut your eggplant crosswise in one inch slices, and salt lightly). Grill corn on a grill rack about 5 to 6 inches over the source of heat, until tender and browned from 8 to 10 minutes.   Grill red pepper and green onions, turning occasionally, until brown but crisp-textured, about 5 minutes.  Grill shrimp until just cooked through, about 1 ½ minutes on each side (until they form a “C” not an “O”).  For the eggplant version, grill it about the same amount of time as the corn.

Remove all the grilled items to a platter as they are done.  Husk the corn and cut kernels from the corn cobs and place in a large bowl.  Peel and slice the red pepper into thin strips, and cut the green onions into ½ inch pieces.  Cut the eggplant into thin strips.  Add grilled shrimp, if using, to the corn mixture.  Add them all to the bowl with the corn and when finished, put in the lemon juice.

Whisk together the vinegar and oil, along with some salt and pepper.  Plate the greens among four plates, top with the corn mixture, and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Ratatouille Roast using CSA vegetable share

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Courtesy of Rama Ganesan, Tucson CSA

I asked my cousin Jayashree in London what to do with my first share. She came up this ratatouille recipe for the vegetables. Recipe by Jayashree Sundaresan

110 ml sunflower oil (1/2 cup)
2 small onions diced
4 garlic cloves sliced
1 fresh green chili sliced
2 sweet potatoes cut into bigger dice
Half large eggplant diced
2 tomatoes diced
Half of the squash diced
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Salt, pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Chopped cilantro
200g French green beans (1/2 lb) (if you have some)
1 red pepper (if you have it)

Put 2/3rd of oil in large heavy-based pot and place on med-high heat, add onions sauté for 5 min; then stir in garlic, chili and red pepper, sauté for 5 min; add squash sauté for another 5 min, transfer vegetables to a bowl leaving behind as much oil in the pot as possible.

Add remaining oil, sauté green beans and eggplant for 5 min, return other vegetables to the pot at this point, add sweet potato, tomatoes, sugar and tomato puree and plenty of salt and pepper.

Stir, and then add enough water to half submerge the vegetables, cover and simmer gently for 30 min.

Heat oven to 400 deg.

Pour vegetables from pot into a roasting tin or baking pan in which they make a layer 2-3 cm thick (1/2 to 1 inch) and bake for 30 minutes.  Note: putting in oven intensifies the flavours hundred fold.

At this point the vegetables should be very soft and most of liquid evaporated. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed rice. Can also be served with pasta/spaghetti.

‘Overcooking’ the vegetable is the whole point here but stick to instructions.

Ratatouille à la Bettina

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Bettina Walker, Tucson CSA

Just a few days ago I made a truly delicious ratatouille using ALL CSA vegetables I had on-hand from this week’s share.
Many years ago my mother showed me a ratatouille recipe that she liked.  I can’t even remember in what periodical or book it appeared.  I made it back then according to the recipe but through the years I have modified that recipe in numerous ways.  So, here it is as I made it this past week:

4-5 small or 3 medium or 2 large eggplants
2 large zucchini or 3 small-medium ones
minimum 4 – 5 medium size tomatoes but can easily accommodate more
1 large onion or 2 smaller ones – chopped
2 large cloves of garlic or 3-4 small ones-cut up very finely or passed through garlic press
good-quality olive oil (I buy mine at Afonso’s at St.Phillip’s plaza during Farmers’ Market there on Sat. or Sun.)
salt & pepper to taste
chopped up fresh basil or ca. 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves

Rinse whole eggplants, zucchini, and tomatoes.

It makes the ratatouille less watery if you can extract some of the internal water from the eggplant and zucchini before cooking it.  Best method to do that is slice both eggplant and zucchini in round slices each about 1/2″ – 3/4 ” thick.  Lay slices down either on a clean kitchen towel double folded or on double folded paper towels.  Then sprinkle top surfaces of eggplant and zucchini with salt. Don’t salt too much – should be a light coating of salt over the surface of the veggies.  After one side of eggplant & zucchini slices have been salted, turn them all over and salt the surfaces of other side.  Cover with more paper towels and then let sit for about 30minutes.

In the meantime, you can cut up the onion and garlic and tomatoes — diced fairly small.  With the tomatoes try to get rid of the seeds and juice.  I usually just scrape that into a cup before dicing the flesh of the tomatoes & when I’m all through, I reward myself with a cupful of delicious fresh tomato juice. Onion(s) should be chopped up to rather small pieces.

After the eggplant slices and zucchini slices have sat for a half an hour with towels absorbing their extra moisture, cut slices up anyway you like for a ratatouille. I usually quarter the zucchini slices and cut up the eggplant slices so that the pieces are approximately 3/4″ – 1 inch wide & long.  I leave the skin on the eggplant and zucchini because I think it gives the ratatouille more flavor; but some people prefer to remove the skin. Up to you!

Coat bottom of big skillet (or 2 medium-size skillets cooking side by side) with olive oil and let skillet heat up on medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic until onions are mostly transparent.  Then add the cut-up eggplant and zucchini as well as an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Stir well; turn heat down to medium or to medium-low, depending on how hot & how quickly your stove heats.  Stir regularly; and, as you do, every few minutes keep an eye on bottom of inside of pan, to determine need for additional olive oil as ratatouille cooks:  you want to make sure that the bottom of the contents of the pan isn’t burning & sticking anywhere.  It should cook this way (with close supervision) for 30 minutes on medium -low heat.

Then add the cut up tomatoes and stir.  Cover skillet again and let cook for about 5 minutes.  In last minute of cooking add basil leaves (if you use the dried variety, rub leaves between palms of hands first creating a coarse powder from the leaves), salt, and cracked pepper.  Stir all ingredients well; and, after a minute or two, REMOVE from heat.  Great to serve warm over brown rice or quinoa or inside a baked potato or just by itself.

One nice feature of this recipe for this time of year is that it keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week and IT IS JUST AS YUMMY COLD AS IT IS WARM!

Melanzane a funghetto (Eggplant Cooked in the Style of Mushrooms )

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Lorraine Glazar, Tucson CSA

2-2 ½ pounds eggplant
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 Tablespoons finely minced parsley
Black pepper to taste

Makes 4-6 servings as a first course.

Peel the eggplant and cut into ¾ inch dice.  Place in a colander and salt (this is most effective if you put it in a layer at a time and salt each layer).  Let drain 30 minutes.   Squeeze the juice out of the eggplant by rolling in towels.

Heat the olive oil over low heat in a skillet.  Add the garlic and sauté for just a minute or so.  Add the eggplant to the skillet and sauté over medium heat.  At first the eggplant will appear to soak up all the oil.  Keep turning the eggplant and shaking the pan.  As the eggplant cooks, oil will reappear in the skillet.  After 10-15 minutes, add the parsley and stir well.  Add the black pepper and continue to cook for another 30 minutes until the eggplant is tender.

Great as a side dish (top with roasted red peppers or cut tomatoes), as a topping for crostini, or on top of pasta or pizza.  Top with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Kumi’s Grilled Eggplant Salad (from the CSA cooking demo on 8/16 and 17/2011)

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Kumi Rao, CSA member

2 Large eggplants
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
1/3-1/2 cup of plain Greek yoghurt (or thick strained yoghurt)
Finely minced raw garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Bread/pita if desired

Slice eggplant into planks ½ inch thick and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Grill eggplant 2-3 minutes on each side. Dice into 1 inch pieces. Mix the garlic, mustard, and yoghurt together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the eggplant with yoghurt/mustard mixture. Top with some sautéed or caramelized onions and fresh herbs. This can be used as a vegetarian substitute for chicken or tuna salad.

Hot and Sour Eggplant

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Jesi, Tucson CSA

This is a great recipe that uses fresh eggplant and seasonal peppers. There are so many ways this recipe can be varied by adding whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand. It’s hard to mess this one up! This dish is quite spicy, so reduce the amount of hot peppers if you prefer yours mild.

4 small Japanese eggplants, cubed
2 small yellow peppers, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
2/3 block tofu, drained and cubed (optional)

5 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon chili oil, or to taste (or 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil plus 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes )

For frying:
about 4 tablespoons sesame oil


1. Place the eggplant cubes into a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 15-30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

3. In a large wok or skillet, sautee the tofu over medium-high heat in some of the sesame oil until it begins to turn golden brown. Remove and set aside.

4. Add the remaining sesame oil to the skillet or wok and fry the eggplant until it is tender and begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour in the sauce, hot peppers, and tofu, stirring until the eggplant is evenly coated. Cook about 5 more minutes, stirring often, until the peppers have cooked and the sauce has reduced a bit.

Serve with jasmine rice.

Delicious modifications:
Zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, or tomatoes make delicious additions to this simple recipe. Different varieties of seasonal peppers can be used interchangeably for varying flavors and degrees of heat.

Baked Eggplant and Tomato Spread

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Johanna Teske, Tucson CSA

1 eggplant
2-3 tomatoes
5-6 tablespoons  sunflower oil
1 red onion, finely chopped

Bake vegetables on plate/pan until well softened on all sides.
Cut the veggies on a wooden board to let them cool slightly,
then cut the eggplant lengthwise and core with spoon.

Cut tomatoes in half and take out seeds if you don’t like them.
Put the veggies in a colander and leave to drain for an hour or two,
then transfer to another bowl and mash with back of a spoon.

Gradually add oil, tablespoon by tablespoon, to reach desired
consistency. Add finely chopped red onion and salt to taste.
Serve on toasted bread or with dipping (crisp) veggies.

Eggplant Frites

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

These are a fun take on eggplant and could be used as a base
for an eggplant parmesan-style dish. You can either cut long
French fry-size strips or make round coins, depending on the
size and variety of your eggplant. Serve with the following
pesto recipe and chopped tomatoes and onions for a really
tasty meal.

1 large eggplant, or several smaller eggplants, peeled and cut
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup flour
Italian herb mix, paprika or other spices, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
About 2 teaspoons oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix any spices you like into the
flour and season with some salt and pepper. Oil a baking
sheet well. Dip slices of eggplant into egg wash then dredge
in flour mixture. Tap off any excess and place on baking
sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, then turn eggplant over and
bake another 5-8 minutes, until browned outside and tender
inside. Sprinkle with more salt, if needed and serve.