For years, I’ll admit, I was unimpressed by eggplant. It was fine smothered in cheese and tomato sauce and served up as eggplant parmigiana. But when it came to cooking with the stuff, I found it tough and seedy; it soaked up a lot of oil, adding calories to whatever dish I was making; and it required preparation to neutralize the bitterness–salting, letting the eggplant stand, rinsing it off. Then this summer I started growing my own, and I swear I will never cast aspersions on eggplant again. The miniature Hansel and Gretel varieties in my garden (purple and white, respectively) have been tender and lovely. They don’t have a lot of seeds. They’re never bitter. They require no peeling. What’s not to like?
And last night I found a new reason to love eggplant–in this case, the long, slender Japanese eggplants I found earlier this week at the farmer’s market (right; the pale purple eggplants, not the striped or black ones). My husband fired up the grill and we tried a delicious and super simple recipe–Grilled Japanese Eggplant with Miso Glaze (photo above). It’s from the cookbook 101 Recipes You Can’t Live Without by my friend and former colleague, the fabulous Lori Powell, who’s worked for Gourmet, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, among others. Because Japanese eggplants are so thin (like my Hansels and Gretels), they cook quickly, making them perfect for grilling. In fact, they seemed to melt in our mouths. Now I know exactly where my next batch of Hansels and Gretels will be going. Thanks, Lori!
Related post: The Tale of Hansel and Gretel