The colorful eggplants

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I remember once in my childhood when I travelled through Romania, in three days, we were always offered eggplant, canned, alongside with tomato sauce or in Transylvania our host made a fresh salad for dinner. After three days I have had enough from it.

But few years ago, walking in Athens, Greece I tasted the original mousaka flavored with cinnamon and feta cheese. It was excellent. In France every summer, my aunt “feeds us” at least once a week with her delicious version of summer rataouille, sprinkled with basil and she adds zucchini to it. Living in Japan I was very fond of in egg dipped and in panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) rolled aubergine and it was fried.

It means that  how versatile vegetable the eggplants is, it is not only an excellent appetizer, antipasti but when it is filled with meat it can be a great main course,  alongside with tomato sauce. But only few people know that it can also be made a soup out of it (in India, Japan, Philippines).

Recipes

Greek vegetarian mousaka

Ingredients: 600 g eggplant, salt, 2 onions, 2 garlic, 300 ml milk, 250 g cottage cheese, pepper, nutmeg, parsley, thyme, 600 g potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 100 g of Gouda cheese, and a bit of butter

First peel the eggplant, peel the onions and garlic as well. Salt the eggplant and let it stand for 20 minutes. Pour over cottage cheese 300 ml of milk, add a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg to it. Stir it well until its consistence will be homogen. In addition, season with parsley and thyme.

Clean and slice the potatoes. Heat the olive oil and in a frying pan cook the finally chopped onions, garlic and eggplant. Meanwhile, fry the potatoes in a fryer. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Layer potato slices and the eggplant, onion, garlic mixture, and grate plenty of cheese on each layer. Place into the oven and bake for up to 40 – 45 minutes.

Turkish stuffed eggplant (devine)

Ingredients: 2 pieces of eggplant, salt, 3 onions, 2 garlic, olive oil, 30 ounces cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons parsley, cinnamon, oregano, pepper, lemon, basil

First preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Wash and peel the eggplant, cut in half and then salt it. Let it stand for 15 minutes.

Scoop out the eggplant flesh. Simmer onion and garlic and the finely chopped eggplant flesh in 2 tablespoons of oil. Wash the tomatoes, slice them and add to the cooked eggplant and onion mixture (simmer for 3 minutes). Sprinkle with cinnamon, oregano, salt, pepper and fresh parsley.

Fill the eggplants with this stuffing, place the eggplants into the oven to 220 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. When serving, sprinkle with plenty of basil.

Ratatouille (French)

Ingredients: 300 g zucchini, eggplant 300 g, 2 bell paprikas (a yellow one and a red one), 400 g tomatoes, 1 onion, 4 garlic, 3 thyme sprigs, 6 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons basil

Clean the vegetables, smear the eggplant with salt and let it stand for 15 minutes. Throw the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute, then peel off the skins. In 6 tablespoons of oil start to steam the garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant together, and finally add the tomatoes. Season with oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover the pan with the vegetables and simmer for another 15 minutes. When serving, sprinkle with plenty of fresh basil.

Crostini with tomatoes and eggplant (Italian )

Ingredients: 1 eggplant, salt, 4 tablespoons olive, pepper, 500 g tomatoes 2 leeks, 1 garlic, 2 tablespoons basil, Parmesan cheese, 4 tablespoons wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, ciabatta bread, fresh sage for garnish

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Wash the tomatoes and leeks with the garlic. Let’s all sliced up, prepare the vinegar or lemon juice with oliva oil. Pour the finally chopped tomatos. Meanwhile cut eggplant into nice narrow slices. Slice the ciabatta, put it on each slice the olive and lemon marinated tomatos flesh, then place onto the eggplant ring, then place another layer of tomato, then grate over the Parmesan. Place the ciabattas in 220 degree oven for 5 minutes. Decorate with fresh sage.

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