Give That Eggplant Some Respect!
NOT JUST PARMIGIANA
Have you heard that eggplants are in season at Little Italy's Mercato farmers' market? Tom King Farms grows heirloom varieties rarely seen in the United States, Schaner Farms has pretty white eggplant along with the purple varieties. We discovered the Rosa Bianca, also known as a Sicilian eggplant, last year and it instantly got our respect! Available from Suzie's Farm, this heirloom varietal is sweet, fleshy and a lot less bitter than most other varieties. It also has a minimal amount of seeds, making it perfect for grilling, baking and for just about anything that requires eggplant.
Often ignored or overlooked, we think that the eggplant is a majestic fruit that just don't get no respect! Native to India, the eggplant has been cultivated since the beginning of their historical record keeping. It's so versatile that almost every culture worldwide has adopted it as reflected by the numerous tasty eggplant dishes prepared around the world from India's baingan bharta, to baba ghanoush from the Middle-East, Greek moussaka from Greece, and beer-battered deep fried eggplant fritters served in Georgia, USA. Italians use it in aubergine parmigiana (a.k.a. eggplant parmesan), lasagna and caponato.
For a hearty appetizer, slice your favorite eggplant variety thinly, sprinkle with olive oil and thyme from Thyme Essence, grill it, smear on some of Nicolau's fresh goat chevre, roll the filled slices up, top with chopped heirloom tomatoes from JR Organics and drizzle with Gianni's balsamic vinegar. We think that you'll be giving the eggplant its due props!