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melt-in-your-mouth eggplant

A while back, we ordered take-out from a new local Japanese restaurant. I have a soft spot for Black Cod so I was thrilled when I saw it on the menu. It came with the most divine side: eggplant. Not just ordinary eggplant. It was cut into a round. And it literally melted in my mouth. I finally figured out how they did it. The key is to sear it before you bake it. This way, it doesn’t soak up a ridiculous amount of oil. This is one of those recipes that doesn’t require a recipe. My favorite kind.

My farmer Sam brought some of his white eggplants to the farm stand a few weeks ago. He highly recommended them because this particular (Japanese) variety had significantly less seeds than the purple variety. Not that I ever even considered the seeds as being an overbearing component to the vegetable. But, I admit I was intrigued. I bought four. He was so right: they were amazing.

Eggplant should be cooked the same day that it has been picked. It loses nutrients more rapidly than you would think. Eggplant is a non-starchy vegetable containing about ninety percent water, so it is naturally low in calories. And the skin is nutrient dense. If you can’t find organic, buyer beware, conventional eggplant is covered in wax.

Eggplant:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash then slice the ends off the eggplant.
  3. Cut into rounds, about 3/4 of an inch thick .
  4. Brown for 4-5 minutes per side on a non-stick griddle (with nothing on it: no salt, oil: nothing)
  5. Place the rounds on a parchment lined shallow baking dish.
  6. Using a pastry brush, use a small amount of oil (1-2 Tbsp for total recipe) to lightly brush the tops of the eggplant rounds.
  7. Sprinkle with salt (don’t be too stingy with the salt here).
  8. Bake for 20 minutes then serve. (Baking time depends on how thickly you cut your slices)
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9 responses to “melt-in-your-mouth eggplant”

  1. Shirley @ gfe said:

    Wow, such an informative post, Stephanie! I had no idea eggplant should be cooked the same day or about the wax—ugh on the latter. And I didn’t know about white eggplant. This looks really good and I love how easy it is to make! I recently enjoyed some eggplant on vacation in Bermuda. I ordered the roasted veggie “innards only” of a sandwich. The combo of roasted veggies was so good!

    Happy Friday! xo,
    Shirley

  2. Lisa said:

    Fantastic, thanks! I’m glad this recipe calls for the skin to remain intact: more nutrients! Do you think this easy recipe would work well with other veggies? Perhaps “harder” root veggies will take longer to cook. I’m looking for different ways to prep my veggies (more like comfort food), now that the colder days will soon be upon us.

  3. Jules said:

    Yummy! My mouth is now officially watering. Thanks so much for this great idea! I just roasted broccoli late last night when I was starving and realized I hadn’t had dinner — cut into florets, lightly brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with coarse sea salt and crushed red pepper. Stick under the broiler until lightly browned, toss and roast the other sides. The same kind of recipe – the “just do it” kind! I love that they are so simple, healthy and … melt in your mouth! I’m definitely trying your recipe next, Stephanie!
    Thanks!!!
    ~jules

  4. Diana said:

    You are such an inspiration! Can’t wait to try it! Love, D

  5. A few more GAPS-friendly recipes I want to try « gapsdiary said:

    [...] Melt-in-Your-Mouth Eggplant Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  6. Stephanie said:

    Lisa,

    I’ve actually cut butternut squash into rounds – and roasted it (skipping the browning step) and it comes out really well. It’s so tender you can cut it with a fork. I haven’t tried celery root or turnip but I reckon it would be similar….

    Let me know if you give any a try – I’d love to hear how they come out.

  7. Stephanie said:

    Thanks Shirley,

    Oh, I love those roasted veggie sandwiches that taste like summer in every bite….glad you had some goods eats in Bermuda!

  8. Kitty said:

    The ‘Japanese’ eggplant varieties do tend to have a melt in your mouth quality. We had great luck growing the Raveena Long Green this year but i is not nearly as tender as Japanese Millionaire or Pingtung Long. The Rosa Bianca is a wonderfully tender, easy to prepare and cook eggplant variety.

  9. Stephanie said:

    Oooh, Kitty. Thank you so much for listing the melt-in-your-mouth variety of eggplant here on the site. Sad for me – my farmer has moved out of state and I didn’t get a chance to ask him about the exact variety before he left. And I’d already decided I was going to plant some next summer. So, it’s a huge help — I really appreciate it!

    Happy November
    S

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