Eggplants are more or less seedy, depending on the sex of the plant (seriously, there are male and female eggplants; I cannot ever remember what makes the difference, so I pick on the way the eggplant looks on the outside++firm, sleek, good color, and unblemished. Then I deal with the seeds if I find them.) The seeds in eggplants, like those in tomatoes, are usually just incorporated into the dish. They are the slightly crunchy flecks in the middle eastern dish, baba ganouj, and they just blend in to stew-like dishes like ratatouille.
Cooking eggplant "NONFAT" can be a challenge. Here are a couple of HINTS: 1. You can "scorch" it, to give it a wonderful smoky flavor (required
for baba ganouj). Poke with a fork and place the whole eggplant under a broiler, turning until it is pretty blackened on the outside and flattened from the heat. Let it cool, remove skin, sometimes some of the seeds, and beat the remaining pulp. To reduce the fat in baba ganouj, people on this list and others have suggested using chickpeas (garbanzo beans) instead of tahini (sesame paste). You can, and it tastes good; but it isn't baba ganouj. Try a very small amount of tahini, and stretch the rest with garlic and lemon juice and some water. Add chickpeas if you want. 2. I often broil/scorch slices of eggplant (sliced either way, round or down the long end) to give it a little flavor before putting it into stew dishes. I do not burn it black, because I then include the skin in the recipe.
Eggplant works well also if you cube it and put it directly into a stew dish you are going to cook a very long time, or if you cube it and include it in the premix of vegetables you are vinegar-sauteing before putting into a stew dish. 3. Finally, a recipe I heard over Thanksgiving dinner. Slice eggplant into rounds, soak 30 min in salted water, drain and sqeeze dry. Then put onto a baking tin, put a very small amount of olive oil on top of each slice (you can try leaving this off, but will need to use some other "cover" to keep it from drying out. Place a large tomato slice on top and also red peppers (I would probably use red peppers that have already been broiled and peeled). Bake until eggplant is soft. Probably at 350 degrees, for 15 min, but you will need to experiment. From: eulenbrg@... (Julia Eulenberg) Good luck.
Submitted By SAM LEFKOWITZ On 11-30-94
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