Ever since I've been receiving a farm delivery of produce I've had to really embrace the eggplant. Not that I have any problem doing that, but it's hard to think beyond Parmesan when it comes to this vegetable.
In fact, I think that's the tricky thing about the more non conventional produce you receive in CSAs or farm deliveries. They take more thought and creativity to make something yummy. Often they must be cooked to really enjoy the flavor. But alas, this is a challenge we must take on as healthy, local eaters.
I'm certainly not perfect at the above mentioned habit and have let many an intimidating veggie go bad in my fridge. Last week, however, I made a huge advance in learning how to quickly turn my eggplant into something delicious. I have to thank the shop owner of a family-owned produce store in Ft. Lauderdale that I visited last week for the idea. It totally worked and it was totally easy.
If you're weren't already motivated to try eggplant for dinner, here's a few more good reasons. Eggplant is a potent source of several phytonutrients that are powerful antioxidants. They have also been found to reduce cholesterol levels in animal studies. Lastly, they are a good source of fiber and very low in calories (about 20 per cup of raw eggplant).
It's time to think beyond parmesan and give this easy, weeknight veggie a try. Be intimidated no more. Enjoy!
Crunchy Eggplant Fries
1 large eggplant (2 slender eggplant) cut into 1/2" thick fries See this video for help and stop before dicing into cubes.
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of low fat milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the beaten egg and milk into a shallow dish and the bread crumbs into another shallow dish. Mix salt and pepper into bread crumbs.
- Dredge each piece of eggplant first in the egg mixture, shaking off excess; then roll in the bread crumbs to coat.
- Place on baking sheet in single layer. Lightly spray tops with cooking spray (this helps them brown). Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!