Even here in California, by December, hot season crops like cucumbers and tomatoes have long since come and gone. Nonetheless, we’ve somehow come upon a few salvaged eggplant and peppers from time to time. Perhaps slightly frost-nipped, but delicious nonetheless.
I am partial to Asian style eggplants, which can be cooked up quickly in a stirfry. Turns out, they are also incredible after a brief foray in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425º and slice or cube the eggplant, skin and all, then coat it generously in olive oil and tamari and bake in a pan for 10-15 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy!
Cheesy Roasted Eggplant
Italian globe eggplants are certainly more involved to prepare. Nonetheless, needing to prepare a last minute meal, and paying homage to one of my favorite guilty pleasures, eggplant parmesan, I decided to take on the challenge. I peeled the eggplant and cut it into thin strips, coated them in olive oil, and covered the bottom of the pan with a single layer. I then spread several dollops of homemade chevre on top, poured a thin layer of tomato sauce on top, then another layer of eggplant and cheese, and stuck it in the oven at 400ºF for about 40-45 minutes. The eggplant still didn’t turn out as soft as I would have liked, but we were too hungry and tired to wait any longer. It came out cooked and plenty cheesy and delicious, at least. There may be a better or easier way to go about it, but I suppose I’ll have to wait until next summer to find out!