I apologize for the blurry caption. I promise you that this side dish tastes better than it looks. Its been brought to my attention that several people don’t really like eggplant. I never cared for eggplant either primarily because of its bitter aftertaste. So eggplant Parmesan or Moussaka did not have any appeal to me. But then I’ve learned a cooking technique on how to draw out the bitter juices of the eggplant and that made a difference. I hope this technique will convert you as well. So here is what you need to do.
Slice the eggplant in half from top to bottom. Leave the peel on an eggplant or slice it off according to your taste. Slice off the top part of the eggplant .The purplish-black skin on large eggplants tends to be tough but it also contains the greatest concentration of nasunin, a potent antioxidant. Slice them about 1/4 thick. Brush the chopped eggplant with lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown. Then you place place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and sprinkle generously with 1 to 2 tsp. of salt. Allow the eggplant to sit on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes and then rinse the eggplant slices under cool water. Pat the eggplant lightly with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This procedure also helps collapse cell membranes, thereby reducing the sponge-like capacity of the vegetable’s flesh to soak up oil. The seeds of a fresh eggplant should be soft and barely visible and if they are, there’s no need to remove them. If seeds are brown, scoop them out with a spoon.
This side dish isn’t exclusively eggplant. I also used peppers,tomatoes,onions,garlic,squash and a bit of herbs. You can use other produce such as zucchini,broccoli,mushrooms,carrots,sweet potatoes and squashes. A little herb adds some aroma and flavor. Roasted vegetables are a healthier alternative to quiches and I have a weak spot for quiches. This side dish can be served at any meal for any occasion or holiday. Roasted chicken or turkey would make a nice accompaniment with this side dish along with some rice or quinoa. Sprinkle some cheese on top to give your children or any family member picky eaters an incentive to eat vegetables. I suppose that if you are not entirely convinced enough to use eggplant, you can leave it out.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 small- medium sized eggplant sliced
- 2 yellow bell peppers seeded and sliced
- 2 orange/red bell peppers seeded and sliced
- 1 onion halved
- 1 head garlic
- 2-3 tomatoes seeded and sliced
- 1 small squash peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper for taste
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the squash, peppers, onion,tomatoes,garlic and eggplants.In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.
Yields approximately 6 servings