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National Eggplant Month

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

A Brief History





July is National Eggplant Month. It's a chance for you to try some new eggplant recipes or order them at a restaurant. Eggplant was first grown in India, China, Thailand, Burma, and Asia. The early varieties were purple and white in the US and farmers grew them.


Chinese stained their teeth with a black dye from eggplant and polished their teeth to a metallic shine. Thomas Jefferson grew both white and purple eggplant in 1812 and brought seeds back from France. One of the relatives of Thomas Jefferson Mary Randolph published a eggplant recipe in a cookbook called The Virginia Housewife.


As more people immigrated to the United States eggplant grew in popularity. President Andrew Jackson loved stuffed eggplant and a recipe called Spanish Style Stuffed Eggplant.


Types of Eggplant To Try


The most common type of eggplant found in your local supermarket are globe eggplant, Italian, and graffiti eggplant. You can check your local health food store and other specialty stores for different varieties.


Photo Source: Wikipedia

American Globe Eggplant- These eggplants are large and have a deep purple to almost black color. The flesh is meaty with a tough skin and many seeds. They can be served as a protein source in recipes. These eggplants are used in eggplant parmigiana, sauces, stews, and casserole dishes.





Italian Eggplant- These eggplants are smaller and resemble globe eggplant but have a sweeter taste, and maintain a thick spongy texture. This eggplant makes good eggplant parmigiana or lasagna. They can be used in sauces, salads, and one pot meals. The are very dark purple in color to almost black.



Photo Source: Leslie Seaton/Flicker


Graffiti Eggplant - They have a purple and white exterior and their size varies from small to medium. These eggplants have a sweet flavor and often are grilled or broiled to use as a side dish or in salads.





Ways to Celebrate National Eggplant Month

  • Try to make a new eggplant recipe

  • Buy eggplant at your local supermarket.

  • Eat at restaurant and try a new eggplant dish

  • Plant eggplant in your garden or grow it in a pot outside or inside.

  • Try a new variety if you can find it at your local supermarket or farm market

  • Look up a recipe online and try it out

Recipes


Eggplant Parmigiana


You will need one or two baking sheet, parchment paper or tin foil, cutting board, knife, potato peeler, brush, bowl. casserole or baking dish.


2 American Globe eggplants or 4 Italian eggplants

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons almond flour or regular flour

1 Jar or can of tomato sauce

1 package parmesan cheese

1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions:


First cut the ends off the eggplants and discard. You can remove the peel with a potato peeler in the sink or remove the skin after cutting. Cut the eggplant into rounds and remove the skin around the edges by cutting it off.


Lay the rounds on a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Salt both sides of the eggplant and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Pour olive oil into bowl and put the flour on plate. With a brush put oil on both sides of eggplant and dust them on the plate with flour. Return them to the baking sheets and preheat over to bake at 350 degrees.


Bake the eggplant in the oven for about 30 minutes or more. Let cool. Put some sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish or baking dish. Put eggplant slices evenly covering the surface of the pan evenly add some sauce, mozzarella cheese, and shredded mozzarella. If you have more slices layer the slices on top adding more tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to heat. Heat in oven on bake for about 20 minutes. Serves about 4.










Photo Source: Marco Barisone/Flicker



Pasta with Eggplant, Peppers, and Meatball Sauce


You will need a medium pan or pot to boil water in, potato peeler, knife, cutting board, sauté pan for sauce, colander, measuring cup, and measuring spoons.


Ingredients:


1 or 2 small American globe or Italian eggplants

1 red bell pepper

1/2 white or red onion chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 bag of frozen meatballs

1 jar or can of tomato sauce

1/2 cup of beef broth

1 box penne pasta or bow ties


In a sauce pan or fry pan add the olive oil. Peel the eggplants and chop into bite size pieces. Wash the bell pepper remove seed and core and chop into bite size pieces. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the eggplant and peppers. Chop the onion and add or sauté for about 5 minutes or more.


When the vegetables are softened add the beef broth and tomato sauce bring to a simmer and add some the frozen meatballs. Let cook on low for about 10 more minutes. Be sure the sauce is heated through. Turn off and cover.


In a medium sized pot boil the water for the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and put in a bowl. Serve pasta with sauce. Serves 4





Source: Big Time Gaming/Giphy







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