Don’t Fear Eggplant… Master It!


Eggplant is like so many other delicious foods, it has a bad wrap because many don’t take the time to learn how to prepare it. But being low in calories and incredibly versatile, this nightshade deserves to be dealt with! I use eggplant in so many different ways it’s difficult to keep track of them. Recently I’ve been enjoying stuffed eggplant rolls. Today I filled them with red quinoa. eggplant_8035

Prepare your quinoa as per the package instructions. I like the toasting method as it adds a little more flavor. Also, I like to add some hot madras curry powder and freshly cracked black pepper to mine while it’s cooking.

For the eggplant, cut the top off and slice it thinly lengthwise, using a mandoline or sharp knife. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with freshly ground black pepper. Feel free to add any other spices – rosemary, oregano, paprika, cumin, etc. Turn them over and drizzle and spice the other side. Roast them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning once. The time will depend on how thin your slices are. The thinner the slice the easier they are to roll.

When the quinoa is done, remove it from the heat and let it set. When the eggplant is done remove it from the oven and chop up the side pieces. Add these to the quinoa with some finely chopped onion and a drizzle of olive oil. When the eggplant slices are cool enough to handle place a spoonful of the quinoa mixture toward the wide end and roll them up. Place the rolls on a serving platter, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle them with crumbled feta (preferable a sheep’s milk feta), and chopped mint. Serve them while they’re still warm. These are so delicious that you won’t believe you’re eating something healthy!

This is one of those dishes that is easy to alter. Change the spices to more of an Italian theme by adding freshly chopped basil or pesto to the quinoa, then top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Or go with a Mexican theme, flavor the quinoa with cumin and tomatoes and top it with grated cheddar and chopped cilantro. So many possibilities!

If you need a heartier dish add some cooked beans to the quinoa. For me this is easily a main dish, but if your hesitant to rely on it it fill you up introduce it to your table as a side dish. For a faster version I sometimes stack the ingredients instead of rolling them.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!



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