A few delicious eggplant recipes from the Italian cuisine
Since eggplants are incredibly common in the South of Italy, there are many eggplant recipes in the Italian cuisine. Eggplants are commonly harvested in summer and autumn and can be used in many ways. Sautéed eggplants, for instance, can be mixed with pasta, cherry tomatoes and basil to make a delicious dish: pasta alla Norma.
In this post, I would like to share with you three eggplant recipes that I use in my cooking classes and in my coaching service to help my clients eat healthily. Contact me if you have questions or you want to book a cooking class together.
Eggplant and zucchini parmigiana
Ingredients for 4 people: 1 or 2 sliced (and peeled) eggplants, 1 or 2 sliced zucchini (courgettes), a can of peeled tomatoes (drained), a few tablespoons of tomato paste, 3 or 4 thinly sliced potatoes, garlic, a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, chopped basil, salt and pepper, a few leaves of fresh basil to garnish.
To get started with the first of my 3 eggplant recipes, put the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes so that they will lose part of their water. Put the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the garlic cloves, half of the olive oil and some chopped basil leaves in a pan and cook moderately for 20 minutes. Add salt, stir and turn the heat off.
Heat some oil in a pan and cook the eggplant, potato and zucchini slices for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to darken. Remove from the heat. Place half the eggplants, potatoes and the zucchini in a baking dish to form the first layer. Add the tomato sauce. Repeat with another layer of eggplants and zucchini slice and place in preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for 45-50 minutes, until the vegetables will be tender. Garnish with basil and serve.
Eggplant and cheese
Ingredients for 4 people: 1-2 eggplants, 1-2 bell peppers, 100 g hard cheese, a can of tomato pulp, 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, onion, salt.
Clean and cut the peppers into strips, slice the eggplants and dice the cheese. Slice the onion and put all the ingredients (including the tomato pulp) in a baking dish. Stir well, cover with a sheet of aluminium foil and bake at 220°C (428°F) for 5 minutes, then remove the aluminium foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
Ingredients for 4 people: 3 or 4 eggplants, 50 g of stale bread, 10-15 black olives, a handful of walnut kernels, 2 tablespoons of capers, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.
Peel the eggplants and slice them lengthwise. Put them in a colander with some salt and let them sit for at least half an hour. In the meantime, mix the stale bread with sliced olives, parsley, oregano, capers and chopped walnuts. Drain the eggplants from the water they have produced and put them, topped with the bread mixture previously prepared, in a baking dish. Sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper and then bake at 200°C (392°F) for about half an hour, covered with aluminium foil. After this time, remove the aluminium and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.