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Amelia Islander

Embrace the Humble Eggplant!

Mar 20, 2019 02:00AM
Eggplant is known as a vegetable having a unique range of health benefits, including an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce the symptoms of anemia, and improve cardiovascular health. That means we should be eating a lot of eggplant, but surprisingly, it’s not the most popular vegetable in the States as it is around the world. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like eggplant, it’s most likely because it hasn’t been prepared properly.

Eggplant is bitter and filled with moisture, and the larger the vegetable is, the more bitter it can be. To prepare eggplant for cooking, slice it into ½-inch pieces, then sprinkle the slices liberally with salt on both sides. Place a baking rack over your sink and place the eggplant slices on the rack for at least two hours. The eggplant will release its bitter juices. After that time, rinse well and pat dry, then use in your favorite recipe. Another thing to note is that eggplant cooks very quickly, so don’t overcook it, otherwise it gets mushy.

The dish featured here is our favorite go-to eggplant dish. It’s a healthy version of Eggplant Parmesan that cooks up in minutes. After you’ve rinsed your eggplant and patted it dry, dredge in a bit of seasoned flour and cook in a small amount of olive oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place a few spoonfuls of bottled marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and lay the eggplant slices on the sauce. Spoon a bit more of the sauce on each slice and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-minutes or until hot and bubbly. You can serve as is with salad, or spoon into a toasted baguette!