Showing posts with label eggplant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eggplant. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  I will admit, I grew up not really knowing what an eggplant was. (Raise your hands if you, too, were raised in the hinterlands!) Then, when I started learning to cook, eggplant scared me. They often came with brown spots on the inner flesh, which made me worry that they were bad and would attack me. (Not so; it can mean age or bruising, or sometimes, it’s just the way they roll.) Some recipes call for salting them, and then I wondered how much salt, for how long, and would I over-salt or over-rinse or over-worry? (Too late for that, I know!)

But they are so yummy that I persevered. And discovered that they are mostly worry-free. My local grocery rarely has the tender baby eggplants, or the yummy Japanese eggplants, so for this recipe, I end up with the larger Italian variety. No matter—the purple skins are glorious, regardless of the variety, and the flesh inside cooks so beautifully. Mr. Right is a mean man with a grill, and it turns out that roasting eggplant is easy, relatively quick, and totally fab. (Here’s last month’s Tangy Summer Vegetable Salad with Bulgar—featuring roasted eggplants, bell peppers, and zucchini.)

This recipe is a slight variation of a Weight Watchers recipe; WW counts it zero points, which veteran trackers will know is a ploy to get us to eat more veggies. (If you brush on olive oil, rather than use a spray, count it one point.) I am here to tell you, that is a successful ploy!

It may seem odd to thin the Greek yogurt. I like the Greek variety for sauces because the flavor is more intense than regular varieties; WW likes it because it’s a little higher in protein. If you’re using a standard variety, skip the thinning, especially if your yogurt has a little liquid on top—pour that off and use it, or stir it in before spooning it up.

Regular paprika will be fine, if that’s what you have. But if you’re shopping, try a smoked paprika. Sweet and spicy varieties are equally fabulous—and worth the hunt.

We served this initially with grilled shrimp seasoned with Old Bay, and a second time with a basic grilled chicken. Yummy both ways!

Congratulations to Daryl Wood Gerber on today's release of GRILLING THE SUBJECT, #5 in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries!


3/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra for garnish
3 baby eggplant or one full-sized eggplant (about 1-1/4 pound), sliced lengthwise, 1/4" thick
olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup mint leaves, thinly sliced (“chiffonade”)

Pre-heat your grill.

In a small bowl, stir the yogurt, water or yogurt liquid, salt, cumin, garlic, and paprika. Set aside to let the flavors meld while you prepare the eggplant.

 Slice the eggplant. Brush or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Grill until tender and lightly charred, about 8-10 minutes, turning once. Place on serving platter. Spoon yogurt over slices; garnish with mint and paprika.

One serving is two slices and two tablespoons of yogurt sauce. Serves 6.

From the cover of GUILTY AS CINNAMON: 

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper. 

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…

Now available in audio and large print, as well as paperback and e-book And watch for KILLING THYME, out October 4! 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chicken and Eggplant #Recipe @PegCochran

This recipe came about on a Sunday night when I REALLY didn't want to have to go to the grocery store (I had wine, what more could a person want??)  So I did an inventory of refrigerator/pantry/freezer.  I found an eggplant I'd bought but not used that was inching toward its sell-by date.  I had some frozen chicken thighs that could easily be thawed.  I had tomato puree in the freezer and also canned diced tomatoes (which I turned out not to need.)  The one thing I regret is that I had four or five mushrooms I could have thrown into this but I forgot!

You can probably tell by now that I hate to waste things!

This turned out so well I will definitely make it again.  This also made enough so that I was able to freeze half for another dinner.  Score!


4 chicken thighs, skin removed (or not depending on your taste)
1 eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for brushing the eggplant tops)
1 onion chopped
2 tsps. chopped garlic
1 cup tomato puree
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or to taste)
Splash of red wine (although I think white would work as well)
A couple of basil leaves, chopped or torn

Heat approximately a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Toss in chicken thighs and brown on both sides.  (They won't get super brown if you've taken the skin off, but they will be a little golden.)

Remove chicken and add onions and garlic and saute until onions are soft.  Add tomato puree, spices, a splash of wine and simmer 10 to 15 minutes to bring out the flavors.

Slice eggplant, place in colander and sprinkle with salt.  Let it "sweat" for 20 minutes to release bitter juices.  Rinse, pat dry and brush slices with olive oil.  Place on cookie sheet and put under the broiler until nicely browned.

Remove eggplant from oven.  Spread a bit of tomato mixture in the bottom of a baking dish.  Top with eggplant slices and then chicken.  Spread remaining tomato sauce on top.  Sprinkle basil leaves on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until chicken reaches appropriate temperature.

Bon Appetit!


Leave a comment below to be entered to win a copy of Berry the Hatchet, out now!!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eggplant pate aka baba ganoush @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: sometimes you need an appetizer that's a little different from chips and salsa, right? Or even on the healthy side? Baba ganoush is the answer! The combination of roasted garlic and eggplant is oh-so-yummy, your guests won't even realize they are eating something healthy!


One large eggplant
Four garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Olive oil
Two heaping tablespoons tahini
One lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Place it cut side down on well oiled pan. Place the garlic cloves on a little piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and close the foil into a little packet. Roast the veggies in a 350 oven until they are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scrape the insides into a bowl.
Next squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their papery skins into the bowl and mash, along with the cumin, 1 teaspoon olive oil, the tahini, and the parsley. Squeeze half the lemon over the top, and grind some fresh pepper over that. Mix everything well together and taste for seasoning, adding the rest of the lemon and salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, drizzle half a teaspoon of sesame oil over the top of the dip and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with pita chips, or pita squares, or cut vegetables. 

KILLER TAKEOUT is coming in April, but available for pre-order today!

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,
and Instagram!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Eggplant-Potato Casserole

by Sheila Connolly

At the last of our farmers’ markets in town here, I snagged the last of the eggplants from one of the vendors.  They’re small, but I’m a sucker for cute little vegetables.

It seems a waste to dice them up, so I thought I’d do something that retained a hint of their diminutive size.

When I started considering recipes, I peeked at Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cooking (I will be eternally grateful to her for introducing me to quick pesto, which we eat all the time at my house). Alas, her suggestions for eggplant were few.  More troubling was her statement that small eggplants tend to be bitter.  How can that be? I cried.  When I checked other sources (would you believe that Google filled in the blanks for me with “are small eggplants bitter?”), they strongly disagreed.  Sorry, Marcella.

So I decided to try an eggplant-potato tart, mainly because when sliced, the potatoes and the eggplants are just about the same in diameter.  Slice them so they will cook at about the same rate.

I will admit that I don’t really like peeling anything.  My theory is, if your vegetables/potatoes/fruits are young enough and fresh enough, it won’t matter.  Besides, the peels are good for you—roughage, you know. (I would not necessarily say this of big, tough eggplants, but I do eat the skins of my baked potatoes.)

Traditionally recipes call for salting the eggplant to draw out the liquid, lest the dish become soggy when cooked.  I’m of two minds about that, but I guess it can’t hurt.  Just dry off the slices before you start sautéing, and make sure you don’t oversalt in the next stages.

Eggplant-Potato Casserole

2-3 cups small eggplant, sliced about ¼” thick (about a pound)
1 tsp coarse salt
The same amount of waxy potatoes (not Idahos), sliced to the same thickness

Cooking oil for the pan

The Mega-Shallot
3 Tblsp minced shallots


½ stick (1/4 cup) butter

breadcrumbs or panko and/or grated Parmesan cheese for the top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the eggplant and place in a non-metallic bowl and toss with the salt.  Let sit for 20 minutes.  Remove to a clean towel or paper towels and blot dry.
Heat about 2 Tblsp oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Briefly sauté the shallots to soften, then add the eggplant slices. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then set aside.
In another, ovenproof sauté pan, add another 2-3 Tblsp of oil and sauté the potato slices until they are soft but not browned. Remove half, then season what’s left in the pan with salt and pepper.  Add the eggplant slices in a layer over the potatoes, then return the rest of the potatoes to the pan and season.  Press down slightly to level. 
Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs (you may mix in some grated Parmesan cheese) or panko, then dot the top with small pieces of butter.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, then begin testing the potatoes to see if they are done (a sharp knife works well).
Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes.  Serve  immediately.

This can be a main course for a light meal, or a side dish for a larger one (I think it would go well with a roast).  If you feel like experimenting, you can add some herbs such as oregano when you’re creating the layers.

Coming November 22nd

No recipes, but lots of food!




Friday, August 2, 2013

Marinated Broiled Eggplant

by Sheila Connolly

Our tiny local farmers market is finally in full swing, and will stay open until October or the veggies run out, whichever comes first.  A week ago I had the last batch of peas from a nearby organic farm, and they were lovely.  I grew up in an era that celebrated BirdsEye frozen vegetables, so I didn't know the pleasure of peas only hours away from the farm.  Yes, you still have to put in some time shelling the peas, but there's something soothing about it, and it's nice to be part of a long tradition.

Anyway, the peas were gone this past weekend, the corn is doing well, and one booth had a batch of Japanese eggplant.  I said, "I want them all!" (Don't worry—it was only a pound.) 

Now, what to do with eggplant…  Again, something I didn't grow up eating (I was a picky eater as a child and wouldn't touch a tomato, so eggplant wasn't an option).  I've come up with a variety of recipes, including one for Mystery Lovers' Kitchen for eggplant pizza that surprised me.  But I'm happy to try new recipes, and I found one with an oriental flair that worked well with, yes, Japanese eggplant. 

While it does involve a broiler, it doesn't take long so you won't heat up your kitchen.  I don't think you could substitute a barbecue grill, but it might be worth a try.

Marinated Broiled Eggplant

1 pound eggplant (you can use one large one or several small ones)

2 1/2 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp lemon or lime juice
1 Tblsp honey
1 clove minced/pressed garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (peeled if you like, 
     and I also added more than a teaspoon!)

Vegetable oil for pan

Whisk together the soy sauce, juice, honey, garlic and ginger.  Pour into a glass baking dish or large non-metallic bowl.

Trim the ends off the eggplant and slice 1/8" thick.

Toss the eggplant slices (carefully, so you don't mangle them) in the marinade.  Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes, but not more than one hour (you don't want them to get too soggy), turning at least once.

Preheat the broiler.  Brush the rack of a broiler pan (I covered mine with foil—less cleaning) with oil and distribute the eggplant evenly.  Broil 5-7" below the flame (probably the upper rack in your oven) until tender and slightly browned, maybe 10 minutes. (Note:  Adora has not one but two broiler heats! I used LO to cook the eggplant, and HI to brown it off a bit.)

It makes a tasty side dish for grilled meat or fish. Served here with chicken and couscous.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Herb Crusted Eggplant

A very warm welcome to Joyce and Jim Lavene, a husband and wife bestselling mystery writing team. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family, their cat, Quincy, and their rescue dog, Rudi. They enjoy photography, watercolor, gardening and long drives.

Their next mystery is Buried By Buttercups, a Peggy Lee Mystery.

And now -- Joyce!

I come from a proud family of Southern gardeners and cooks. My mother was from Charleston, South Carolina and she grew up going out to the farm to pick produce when she was young.

She and her mother, along with her brothers and sisters, spent whole days picking tomatoes, green peppers, corn, and eggplant. They were very poor and this provided them with some spending money - also fresh fruit and vegetables.

Even when my mother could afford to buy her own produce, she grew everything she could. Her yard was filled with fruit trees and vegetables. It was important to her that she ate as much fresh food as she could.

She rubbed off on me, I guess. When I grew up, I became a Master Gardener and enjoyed growing fresh food too. I put as much of that information as I could into the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries.

Peggy Lee is a botanist who specializes in botanical poisons. She owns a small garden shop in Charlotte, North Carolina and helps the police solve mysteries with her knowledge. Her next book is Buried By Buttercups, out in October 2012.

Peggy loves herbs and spices. I think she’d enjoy this recipe.

Making Herb Crusted Eggplant

I know a lot of people don’t like eggplant. I’m a vegetarian and I’m always looking for new ways to make vegetables. I think you’ll find that you don’t have to ‘like’ eggplant to enjoy this.

You’ll need one eggplant. Cut off the top and bottom then thinly peel off the purple skin. Cut the eggplant into thick slices, about one quarter inch.

You’ll also need about a quarter cup of olive oil, one and a half cups of plain, dry breadcrumbs, five tablespoons of fresh, chopped, basil, two tablespoons of fresh parsley and two tablespoons fresh rosemary, one teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste.

Mix breadcrumb/herb mixture in a bowl. Use the olive oil to coat the eggplant slices then put each side of the slices into the breading mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until eggplant is tender and crust is brown.

These make delicious sandwiches or a great side dish with pasta or potatoes. One eggplant serves about four people.
Thanks for having me here!


And don't miss their
Visit Joyce and Jim at, .
Twitter: @authorJLavene and Google Plus.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Eggplant Pizza

by Sheila Connolly

I went to the Plymouth Farmers' Market (now being held weekly at Plimoth Plantation) this week, after a gap of several weeks (life kept getting in the way), and after coming home I was sorely tempted simply to show you lots of pretty pictures of fresh local vegetables and call it a day.  But I restrained myself.  So you'll get half pretty pictures and a recipe too.

I have also decided that, perversely, I like vegetables that are not whatever their standard color is.  Which is why I have red and yellow carrots, and purple and green tomatoes.  And a range of eggplant from near black to stripey, and some peppers that are yellow and orange striped.  Somehow I forgot to buy the purple long beans, but there will be other trips.

Now, if you go to all the trouble to go to a farmers' market and buy fresh local produce, you have a certain moral obligation to use said produce while it is still fresh.  I'll admit I have a tendency to buy a lot of pretty things that I have no idea what to do with, and often eggplant falls in that category.  I did not grow up eating eggplant.  I have been only intermittently successful cooking eggplant as an adult.  This time around I bought three kinds of eggplant.  Oh dear.

But I am resourceful!  I turned to (love that site!) and went hunting for eggplant recipes, and then I thought, I've got those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that I'd better use before they turn to mush, so the search became "eggplant+tomato", and I found not one but two recipes for Eggplant and Tomato Pizza.  Except neither one was exactly what I wanted, so I made a mash-up:  I took the best bits of each and came up with something else.  And it worked!  So here's my locavore, vegetarian, eggplant pizza recipe.

Eggplant Pizza

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

1 pizza crust.  Okay, purists, you can make your own if you want, but I bought a package of ready-made dough from our market.  It was whole-wheat (they were out of the regular kind), but that turned out to be a plus, because the whole wheat added a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that went well with the rest of the ingredients.


2-3 Japanese eggplant (the long skinny kind)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Chopped tomatoes, draining

1 cup tomatoes, sliced (I used a single large gorgeous heirloom one)

2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


1–1½ cups coarsely shredded cheese (I used a mix of fontina and mozzarella, with a sprinkling of Parmesan over the top to brown)

Since you are using fresh, slender eggplants, you don’t have to go through the salting/draining thing.  Slice your eggplants about half an inch thick.  Pour some olive oil (enough to coat the bottom lightly) into a pan and sauté the onions briefly, then the eggplant slices.  Reduce the heat and continue cooking until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned. Add a bit of salt and pepper. 

While the eggplant mix is cooking, slice your tomato and seed it.  Add your garlic, mix well, then set in a colander to drain (if you don't, your pizza will be soggy).

Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.  Stretch out your dough (mine fights back).  It will be irregular, but who's worried?    Spread the eggplant-onion recipe in an even layer (leaving an inch or so at the edges), then strew the tomatoes over that.  Top with an even layer of cheese.

Assembling your pizza
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and crisp.  Slice and enjoy quickly!


And the first apples of the season have arrived!