Garlic Eggplant Delight (for Garlic Lovers Everywhere)

August 20, 2008 heavenlygardens

Eggplant is one of the most misunderstood and often disliked vegetables in the summer garden. I’ve come to the conclusion that oftentimes people dislike eggplant because the dishes they’ve tasted have not been prepared properly.

Some restaurants where I’ve ordered cooked eggplant have actually served it only partly cooked so that, in essence, it has a bitter, raw taste and a chewy texture. Not at all appealing, even to an eggplant aficionado such as myself.

Raw eggplant is an acquired taste. Okay, I admit that cooked eggplant may be an acquired taste, too. However, add some garlic, cook ’til tender, and you have an eggplant dish that any garlic-lover can enjoy. I’ve converted many friends into eggplant eaters with this recipe.

I modeled this recipe after a dish I had many years ago in a Chinese restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. After many failed attempts, I finally achieved eggplant nirvana, so to speak because it tasted like the dish at the restaurant. Over time, I’ve modified this dish to reflect my own taste buds.

Pick eggplants when they are full size and their skin is firm, yet gives a little when you press it.

Garlic Eggplant Delight
1 medium Black Beauty eggplant or 4 to 5 Japanese eggplants
5 to 6 large cloves garlic (or more to taste)
1 small Onion (optional)
1/2 can drained, pitted black olives (optional)
Oregano (to taste)
3/4 cups virgen olive oil
Salt
Pepper

    1. Cut off the eggplant stem and its skirt.
    2. Slice the eggplant one quarter inch thick. Then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide strips.
    3. Layer the strips of eggplant in a glass bowl, salting each layer lightly.
    4. Let the eggplant strips stand for at least 30 minutes. The salt drains the bitterness from the eggplant in the form of a brown liquid and allows you to cook it using less olive oil.
    5. If you include the onion, slice it into strips.
    6. Dice the garlic into small or large chunks depending on your preference.
    7. Drain the liquid from the eggplant and rinse it. Drain it or pat it with a paper towel to remove the excess water.
    8. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
    9. Add the drained and rinsed eggplant strips to the oil, turning them to lightly coat with olive oil.
    10. Cook the eggplant strips until they begin to soften.
    11. Add the onion strips (optional) and continue to saute until they are translucent.
    12. Add the garlic and drained olives when the eggplant is completely soft and saute until the garlic is translucent and soft enough for a fork to pierce it. Adding the garlic last and cooking only until just done provides a more intensely garlicky flavor to this dish.
    13. Stir periodically to prevent the eggplant from burning or sticking.
    14. Remove from the heat.
    15. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve alone or over rice as a main dish or with crackers as an appetizer. Serves 2 as a main course. Serves 4 as a side dish. Truly delightful.

Many Europeans enjoy bread with each meal. You can serve Garlic Eggplant Delight with French or homemade bread. One of the best web sites I’ve found for healthy low-carb bread and crackers is Carbsmart. Their Dixie Carb Counters Easy No-Knead Bread Mix comes with directions for both traditional oven-baked bread and bread machine-baked bread. The oven-baked bread recipe is on their web site. If you prefer crackers with this dish, Carbsmart also sells several delicious low-carb crackers and chips, including R.W. Garcia Soy & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips, so you can serve Garlic Eggplant Delight like a dip. Just put it in your food processor.

However you decide to serve Garlic Eggplant Delight, enjoy.

To Your Gardening Abundance!

Cara

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Entry Filed under: Garden Recipes, Gardening, Recipes and tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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