Baked eggplant

Posted by & filed under Savoury.

I am such a sucker for eggplant, I don’t know what it is. I just really, really, love it, and you can guarantee that when I have Indian food, I’ll get their eggplant curry, and when I have Japanese food, I’ll get their baked eggplant with honey. Chinese food? Spicy eggplant with pork. Problem is, I’m not particularly good at cooking it myself. Not exactly sure why… Maybe it’s the spongy texture that absorbs a lot of oil, or my confusion over whether to salt it before cooking so as to drain the fluid? I don’t know. But this time, it was a success!!! Why? Because I followed a recipe with set instructions. I’m good at doing things when you tell me exactly how to do it, but winging it by myself? Meh… it’s touch and go.

I was having a bit of an Italian night, and thought that this eggplant would go well with my salad. Turns out, I’m terrible at timing things, and when my salad was ready to eat, the eggplant was still baking. So we just started eating the salad in the meanwhile. Also, I’m bad at estimating quantities, and after a massive bowl of a filling Italian salad, there was absolutely no more space in my little tummy for my baked eggplant. So, I refrigerated it, but not before I had a few greedy bites, and wow, it actually tasted like a pizza, but on eggplant instead of dough! Given that boyfriend has started a gluten-free diet by choice, in order to eliminate processed foods (wheat i.e. gluten is arguably a processed food: read Wheat Belly by William Davis) it dawned on me that pizza on an eggplant is actually brilliant for his diet! I decided to go along with the gluten-free diet and to do it too, since it’s not really any stretch for me to eliminate wheat, since I already don’t eat a lot of it. Sure, I love bread and pasta, but I consider them to be “filler” foods, and I much prefer flavourful foods like meats and veggies. As a result, I don’t really put a lot of emphasis on rice or potatoes in my meals either (because I consider them to be bland, filler foods too, even though they’re gluten-free). I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are scarce amounts of bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes in my posts. Didn’t notice? Great!! Stuff tastes amazing without them anyway.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ll be experimentally omitting gluten from my meals now, but really, I don’t think it’ll make a difference in my blog posts (or anything I eat on a day to day basis). I don’t think I even have one bread or pasta-based dish published to date. Desserts such as baked goods may be a bit challenging, but I’m not big on sweets anyway! So on to the recipe!!!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (try to find one that’s not too round)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chili sauce
  • Prosciutto
  • Parmesan
  • Basil leaves
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil

Cut the eggplant in half, and score the flesh so that steam can escape when you bake it.

Spread tomato sauce over the halves, and top with chili sauce. I may have been a little too generous with the chili sauce, but I’m not gona lie, I love the burn! If you don’t like hot stuff, just omit it. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400C for about 20-30min, depending on how big your eggplant is.

Next, blend together some basil leaves, garlic, and olive oil to make a delicious smelling sauce that will make your breath stink, but your stomach happy.

Add sliced prosciutto and grated parmesan cheese to the eggplant halves. Top with the garlic-basil sauce. Bake again until you think the eggplant looks done. I left mine in for another 30min because I like my eggplant squishy when it’s cooked. The top became quite brown (a bit too brown?) on mine, but it tasted out of this world, so I didn’t really mind that it looked a little ugly. Doesn’t it taste like pizza?! To me it did! All the tomato sauce, cheese, and prosciutto was definitely pizza-like. This baked eggplant is great as a light meal on its own (think lunch, or light dinner) or can be accompanied by a salad for some more substance.

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