Italian Marinated Eggplant

It should come as no surprise that Crowded Earth Kitchen features at least one or two new eggplant recipes every summer. When you emphasize “fresh” and “frugal” in your kitchen, eggplant has a way of emerging as a frequent star. This summer, as these lovely purple beauties make their way from our garden to our table, we’re trying something new. Italian Marinated Eggplant is best served cold as part of an antipasto platter, with a side of crusty bread, or as a salad ingredient with fresh mozzarella (shown above). Enjoy!

eggplant1Ingredients (Makes 1 quart)

1 large or 3 small eggplant Continue reading

Easy Eggplant Dip

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What’s not to love about eggplant?  This versatile vegetable contains a healthy dose of fiber, a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, and important trace minerals such as manganese – all for 20 calories per cup!  Today we are preparing a simple, nutritious dip using only four ingredients:  eggplant, lemon, garlic, and tahini.  Also known as sesame paste, tahini looks a bit like peanut butter (with roughly the same number of calories and fat grams per tablespoon), but has a very distinct, very rich flavor.  A little goes a long way.

Quick side note:  This dip will thicken if refrigerated overnight – it is best enjoyed fresh!

Ingredients (makes 3 cups)

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups)

2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon tahini

picture461Directions

Step 1) Grease a roasting pan with grapeseed oil (or another oil of your choosing; pick something that won’t scorch at high oven temperatures).  Place eggplant on roasting pan in a single layer, and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring once.

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Spicture462tep 2) Combine eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender and puree until desired consistency is achieved.  Don’t be afraid to leave a few lumps and bumps – a bit of texture is pleasing!

Serve with pita wedges, whole grain crackers, or vegetable crudités.  Enjoy!