Our eggplant is growing like crazy this summer and the summer school staff are reaping the rewards of our bountiful eggplants.
While eggplant isn’t the most nutritious vegetable, it does give you a decent supply of potassium and fiber. At just 25 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per serving, it’s a pretty guilt-free food — as long as you don’t soak it in oil.
Eggplant has antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help protect your cells against damage. It’s also high in natural plant chemicals called polyphenols, which may help cells do a better job of processing sugar if you have diabetes.
Eggplants will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. They are sensitive to the cold, and their skins may become pitted after too long under refrigeration.
Eggplant is naturally a little bitter. To prepare, cut it into slices, sprinkle it with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes before cooking. The salt will draw out some of the bitterness. It will also prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil and becoming greasy during cooking. Rinse off the salt before you cook it.
What is your favorite way to cook eggplant? We would love to hear from you!
I’ve made this recipe for Baked Eggplant Sandwiches with students and for my family and it’s been a favorite:
Baked Eggplant Sandwiches
- olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 8 slices of eggplant, cut 3/8 inch thick
- 2 slices provolone cheese, cut into quarters
- 4 thin slices salami
- finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat eggs in a small, shallow bowl.
- Mix flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large shallow dish.
- Pour bread crumbs in another large shallow dish.
- Top one slice of eggplant with 1/4 slice provolone cheese, 3 slices salami, and 1/4 slice provolone cheese. Place an equally-sized slice of eggplant on top. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices, cheese, and salami.
- Gently press each eggplant sandwich into the seasoned flour to coat; shake off excess.
- Dip both sides of each sandwich into beaten egg.
- Press the eggplant sandwich into bread crumbs. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a circle about 3 inches in diameter onto the foil; place a breaded eggplant sandwich onto the oiled area. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano grated cheese over the sandwich.
- Drizzle the tops of each sandwich with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and sprinkle 1 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese onto the top.
Bake until browned and a paring knife inserts easily into the eggplant, 8 to 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.