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Place uncut and unwashed eggplant in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper, where it will keep for a few days. Eggplant that has been washed, cut, and boiled for approximately 4 minutes can be frozen for later use.
This incredibly versatile ingredient can be steamed, grilled, roasted, baked, or sautéed. To easily roast an eggplant simply poke holes in the skin with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. Let cool, slice, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Ways to Enjoy Eggplant
1. Roast it! This is most definitely my favorite (and probably the easiest) way to enjoy eggplant. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes and toss with olive oil and salt. Spread out in a single layer on a baking (cookie) sheet. Roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Using a spatula, stir the eggplant so that it doesn't get too brown on one side and roast for another 5-8 minutes. Roasted eggplant will last about a week in an airtight container. You can add great flavor to many dishes by throwing in some roasted eggplant. Enjoy it mixed in with your favorite pasta dish, in a pita with hummus, or over a salad.
2. Eggplant Pizza. Make your own personal eggplant pizzas! Marinate sliced eggplant in your favorite Italian dressing and roast until soft. Add sliced tomato and mozzarella cheese and roast again until the tomato is heated through and the cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil and enjoy!
3. Dip it. Make a homemade version of the Mediterranean dip called babaganoush. Puree roasted eggplant with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Use this as a dip for vegetables or whole wheat pita, or as a sandwich filling.
4. Substitute. Try baked eggplant fries instead of French fries. Cut the eggplant into strips, dip each strip into lightly beaten eggs, and toss them with breadcrumbs. Place the strips in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
5. Grill it! Eggplant is a great summer vegetable because it takes to the grill easily. Just brush sliced eggplant rounds with olive oil and grill them over high flame for about 3 minutes on each side.
6. Stir-Fry. Add eggplant to your next Asian-inspired stir-fry or Indian curry.
Like other vegetables in the nightshade family, eggplant is a great source of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity.