The Mission

eggplants

It all started with these.

I’m not a huge fan of eggplant, and Mike’s even less so, but when I saw the big bags of tiny, shiny-skinned eggplant at the Arcadian Fields table at last Saturday’s farmers’ market, I couldn’t resist. With cold, rainy weather predicted for this week, I knew I wanted to do something similar to eggplant parmesan, though I didn’t want to fry the eggplant, and I also wanted to incorporate a bit more vegetable matter into the dish. Mostly, I wanted to come up with an eggplant dish we’d really love.

eggplant casserole

I ended up borrowing a technique from Nancy Jo’s winning Eggplant Parmesan recipe from food52, salting my eggplant slices, drying them, then tossing them with flour and oven-frying them on sheet pans. When my eggplant coins were crisp and browned, I layered them in a baking dish with a mixture of slow-roasted plum tomatoes, frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained, and the same blend of cheeses Mike’s been playing with for his pizzas.

Dinner: September 27, 2010

What we ended up with was a very unpretty, but surprisingly tasty eggplant casserole, so good, in fact, that my eggplant-averse husband went back for seconds. As did I.

I’m on a mission now: Mike and I are both generally good about eating our favorite seasonal vegetables, but as we enter into the cooler months of the year, I want to work with as many of our lesser-loved vegetables as possible and try to find at least one way to cook them that leaves us wanting more. I think we’ve found our new favorite way to eat eggplant.

8 thoughts on “The Mission

  1. This looks great. I am so making this. My oldest son loves eggplant parm. and he moves in Mon. I went to Food 52 and saved it. I am going to have to make part of it with soy cheese for my younger son. Thanks for bring this to my attention.

  2. I’m not a big fan either but I think I might try this, my local market has some that will be a lot less rubbery than the supermarket ones.

  3. I actually AM a big fan of eggplant, because I’ve seen what cooking it slowly over a long time or charring it can do. Creamy deliciousness! This recipe sounds like a bit more work than my usual routine with eggplant, but the flavor combo does sound amazing…

  4. Sue says:

    This looks like a must try. One question, since you aren’t rinsing the eggplant, how do you avoid a really salty dish? I tried salting a cucumber (for a relish) earlier this summer and ended up with really salty cucumbers after following the recipe exactly as written.

  5. Jamie says:

    I bought the same bag of cute eggplants last Saturday! I was planning to fry ’em up for eggplant parm sandwiches, but I think I’ll borrow your/NancyJo’s technique instead. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Christine says:

    While I am a giant eggplant fan, the husband is less of one. This looks like it would be right up his alley. What’s not to like?

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