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What a crazy vegetable eggplants are. But if you do it right, they can be the star of the most amazing dishes. The farm grows 2 different kinds of eggplant, a typical "Italian-type" as well as an "Asian-type". They are good for different types of cooking and each recipe designates which type to use. 

QUICK IDEAS: slice and marinate and then throw it on the grill; replace lasagna noodles with thin strips of salted eggplant!

Crispy Eggplant w/Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins & Mint: serves 4
from Ruffage

1 large or 2 medium eggplants, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar-vinegar sauce (see recipe-within-a-recipe below)
16 oz fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup cream
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 slicing tomatoes, cored and cut into large, irregular  chunks
5 sprigs mint, leaves torn into pieces
1/4 cup garlic bread crumbs

        To make the brown sugar-vinegar sauce:

        1/2 cup brown sugar
        1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
        1/2 tsp salt

        Whisk all the ingredients together until blended.

To make the eggplant:
1) Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2) Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and salt. Put on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet and roast until golden brown and tender, about 25 minutes.
3) Combine the raisins with the brown sugar-vinegar sauce and let marinate.
4) Tear the mozzarella into irregular chunks and dress with the cream, lemon zest, and pepper.
5) Toss the roasted eggplant together with the tomatoes and mint. Top with the dressed mozzarella, raisins, and bread crumbs and serve.

Stewy Eggplant & Tomato Coddled Eggs: serves 6
from Ruffage

1 cup olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
3 onions, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, minced
5 eggplants, cut into large chunks
5 slicing tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1 cup red or white wine
1/4 bunch cilantro, stemmed, leaves left whole
1/4 bunch parsley, stemmed, leaves left whole
5 sprigs basil, stemmed, leaves left whole
5 sprigs mint, stemmed, leaves left whole
1 loaf crusty bread
4 eggs

1) Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare six 4 oz jelly jars or ramekins.
2) Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Fry the salt and chili flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently cook until slightly soft, 7-10 minutes. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and toss to combine. Add the wine, bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the eggplant is tender, the tomatoes have given up their liquid, and everything is thick and stewy, about 40 minutes.
3) Toss the herbs together to combine. Slice the bread into thick pieces and toast it. 
4) When the stew is done, fill the jars halfway and top each with an egg. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the egg white is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt, garnish with the herbs, and serve with toast on the side for dunking and spooning the eggplant from the jars.

Jamaican Jerk Eggplant Steaks: serves 6
​From Dishing Up the Dirt

 Jerk Marinade:
3 scallions, minced (white and light green parts only)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 thinly sliced serrano or jalapeño pepper (scrape most of the seeds but leave a few in for some kick)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons walnut oil (or another neutral tasting oil such as canola) 

2 medium sized Italian eggplants , sliced vertically into 1/2 inch thick "steaks"
Olive oil for brushing the steaks
Minced parsley for serving

1) In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade until well combined. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. 
2) Preheat an outdoor grill (or grill pan) to medium-high heat. Lightly brush the eggplants with olive oil and then generously brush them with the marinade, reserving as much as you can for serving.
3) Grill the eggplants for about 3-5 minutes per side or until lightly charred. Remove from the heat and serve with additional marinade and minced parsley.

Slow Cooker Ratatouille: Serves 8
From Farm-Fresh and Fast by FairShare CSA Coalition

8 cups chopped eggplant, tomato, zucchini, onion, or any other in-season vegetable(s)
1/2 cup water or broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh herbs (optional)

1) Place the vegetables in a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the water or broth, oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, and crushed red pepper and stir well.
2) Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
3) Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh herbs (if desired).

Grilled Eggplant with Soba Noodles: serves 4
from Thug Kitchen

Eggplant and Marinade:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp agave or liquid sweetener
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb)

8 ounces soba noodles (or whole wheat pasta)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

1)mix up everything for the marinade in a glass. slice the eggplant crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds. Place the eggplant in a large pan of some kind and pour the marinade over them. Let the eggplant marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour. 
2)while the eggplant marinates, cook the soba noodles according to directions. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water so that they aren't still cooking. Place them in a large bowl and add the sesame oil and rice vinegar. stir it all up. 
3)bring your grill or grill pan to a medium heat (300-350 degrees). oil the grill grates. when the eggplant is done marinating, grill the eggplant slices on each side 2-3 minutes or until you see grill marks, save the marinade. If the eggplant begins to look dry dip or brush them with leftover marinade and continue cooking. 
4)when all the eggplant is done cooking and has cooled slightly, cut it up into 1/2 inch squares. Mix together 1/2 cup of the leftover marinade and 3 tbsp water. pour mixture over the noodles and mix. Toss in eggplant and basil and mix again. Top with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature or cold. 

Roasted Eggplant and Yogurt Dip: Serving size is 1 cup 

30 ounces (about 2 lbs) eggplants, the smaller the better
one clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup goat's milk yogurt (substitute sheep's milk yogurt or plain Greek-style yogurt)
ground cumin, to taste
ground chile pepper, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: a large handful of fresh cilantro leaves and/or mint, finely snipped

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggplants in a single layer in a shallow baking dish (or a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil), and prick them in a few places with a fork. 
2) Cut a small slit in the most bulbous part of one eggplant and slip the garlic clove inside. Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until completely soft, turning the eggplants 2 or 3 times during the baking.
3) Set aside in a colander until cool enough to handle. Transfer each eggplant in turn on a cutting board. Cut a deep slit down the length of the eggplant to open it wide, and scrape the flesh using a wooden spoon. Discard the stem and skin, set the flesh aside (be sure to recover the garlic clove), and repeat with the remaining eggplants.
4) In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the eggplant flesh, garlic, and yogurt, and season with cumin, chile pepper, salt, and black pepper. Process in short pulses until smooth. Fold in the cilantro and/or mint, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
5) Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, if possible, to allow the flavors to develop. Serve with pita bread, or fresh baguette. This also makes a fine sandwich/tartine spread, or a side to lamb meatballs or grilled fish.

Baba Ghanoush: Serves 6

1 large eggplant 
1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed 
1 pinch ground cumin 
salt, to taste 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1/4 cup brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata 

1) Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Preheat an oven to 375°F
2) Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Turn frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
3) Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
4) Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
5) Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste.
6) Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
7) Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
8) Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
9) Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
10) Place the olives around the sides. Serve at room temperature.

Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan: Serves 4 
from Food and Wine

1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
About 3 lbs chicken 
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves

1) Heat the broiler. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Coat both sides of the eggplant with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Broil, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Turn off the broiler and heat the oven to 425°.
2) In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and add to the pan. Partially cook the chicken for 2 minutes per side and remove from the pan. When cool enough to handle, cut the chicken into 1/4-inch slices.
3) Oil an 8-inch square baking dish. Put one third of the eggplant in a single layer in the dish. Top with half of the chicken, half of the tomatoes, half of the mozzarella, one third of the Parmesan, half of the basil, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Repeat with another third of the eggplant, the remaining chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella, another third of the Parmesan, and the remaining basil. Top with the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Bake for 20 minutes and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Grilled Eggplant with Cumin Yogurt Sauce: Serves 4 
from Food and Wine

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Four 6-ounce asian eggplants (the long slender ones), halved lengthwise
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1) Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the lemon juice, soy sauce, curry powder and crushed red pepper. Put the eggplant halves on a rimmed baking sheet, cut sides up, and coat generously with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the basil, cumin, garlic and lemon zest. Season the yogurt sauce with salt and pepper. 
3) Grill the eggplants, cut sides down, over a medium fire, until they are lightly charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Serve the grilled eggplants with the yogurt sauce.

Grilled Eggplant Red Pepper "Caviar": Serves 4 - 6
from Asparagus to Zucchini

2 sweet red peppers
1 ½ lbs Asian eggplant (the long, slender ones)
1 fresh onion, thickly sliced, brushed lightly with olive oil
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper 
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Oil-cured black olives
Italian bread

1) Prepare charcoal grill. When the coals begin to flame, roast the red peppers, turning often, to blacken the skins all around.
2) Remove to a cutting board, scrape off the skin with a knife, and finely chop the flesh. 
3) When coals have burned down to medium-high heat, grill the whole eggplants and sliced onions, turning often, until tender.
4) Peel the eggplants; drain them a few minutes in a colander. Mash or finely chop the eggplant flesh and finely chop the onions.
5) Combine eggplant, onions, red peppers, and tomatoes in a bowl. 
6) Mince the garlic, sprinkle it with a little salt, and mash it to paste with a fork or the back of a knife.
7) Stir garlic and olive oil into eggplant mixture. Serve with olives and hunks of Italian bread.

Eggplant and Onion Dip with Pita Chips: Serves 12 
From Bon Appetit December 2010

3 pita bread rounds, cut into wedges
4 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/4 lbs of eggplant, quartered lengthwise
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (a ground indian spice)

1) Preheat oven to 475. Brush pita wedges with olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
2) Place eggplant skin side down on another baking sheet. Place onions and garlic on the other side of the baking sheet.
3) Brush the eggplant, onions and garlic with olive oil.
4) Bake pita until crisp, about 4 minutes.
5) Roast vegetables until browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
6) Peel garlic. Scoop out eggplant and transfer to the processor. Add onions and peeled garlic; puree until almost smooth.
7) Transfer puree to bowl. Mix in mint, cilantro, and garam masala.
8) Season with salt, pepper and serve with pita chips.

Eggplant Cake
From The Whole Seed Catalogue 2014

2 Asian Eggplants (cooked, peeled, and pureed)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour

1) Preheat oven to 350. Wash, cook, peel, and puree eggplant.
2) Pour puree in colander and press out excess liquid.
3) In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
4) Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry.
5) Pour into a well-greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish and bake in oven 30 minutes.