Our favorite chef waxes lyrical on the joys of eggplant. By Dorcas Shiloj
As a vegetarian I eat tons of vegetables—but is there any that is more colorful and delicious than the eggplant? No. There is not. What more we can ask for? As an artist I love colors, and enjoy the natural diversity of color that vegetables and fruits offer–especially the intense purple of the delicious eggplant. Flavors, colors and aromas inspire every day to me by my small and warm kitchen.
For those of you following along at home, we are going to make BREADED EGGPLANT. This is an easy dish and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. Eggplant (berenjena) is a bit of a stretch to find in La Demo. Around the corner from the butchers’ section you can usually find eggplant mixed in with the onions and tomatoes—but you might need to ask around. You should be paying between Q3 and Q7.50 depending on size and quality. Eggplant is one of the less reliably priced items at the market.
For bread crumbs I recommend using the heel of a loaf of whole wheat bread. If you toast the bread first and crumble it you’ll have enough bread crumbs for a couple of days.
½ cup of bread crumbs (you can buy at Hiper if you are lazy)
Salt to taste
Wash and slice the eggplant in vertically, depending on the size of the eggplant this can be 8 to 10 slices, warm up a comal or a frying pan and place the slices of the eggplant as if they were tortillas, to toast both sides. Take care not to burn the eggplant (the flavor can be bitter if when burnt). After toasting the slices of eggplant, lightly salt in both sides. In a bowl beat 1 egg with a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl place the bread crumbs. Warm up a frying pan over low heat with oil. Take a slice of eggplant with and dip it in the bread crumbs and then cook it in the frying pan. When lightly browned remove from the heat. Repeat until everything is cooked.
Normally I accompany this dish with salad in a vinaigrette (this goes especially well with spinach salad with shredded carrot), you can accompany it with your favorite side dish. Bon appétit, and enjoy the healthy pleasure of eating eggplant.