No, nobody has hacked my account; I'm actually writing NEW content! Just don't get too comfortable with the idea. I make no guarantees that I won't fall off the face of the earth for a year again at any moment.
On to the good stuff! Spring is back. Which means all of the delicious fresh produce is just around the corner. You know, once the spring snow storms stop. I decided I wanted to make my blog comeback with food from my favorite region - Sicily. That quickly led me to sifting through dozens of eggplant recipes. I finally settled on this one for Sicilian Eggplant (descriptive name, I know). The eggplant is fried and topped with a tomato based sauce. Easy! Like a lot of Italian food, the key is great, fresh ingredients that speak for themselves. Traditionally, the sauce used over the eggplant is a quick tomato sauce combining tomato paste and wine vinegar. The kids and I were the first tasters, and none of us loved the sauce; the vinegar was too strong. I tried another batch with regular marinara sauce which garnered a better reaction, but both of my kids (16 months and 4) and I opted for no sauce at all and just wanted the fried eggplant. In a surprise turn of events, Ryan liked the traditional sauce the best. With the vinegar in the sauce and the salt on the eggplant he said it tasted like a salt and vinegar chip. So, use the traditional sauce recipe, use your favorite marinara sauce, or just eat the eggplant hot out of the frying pan while standing over the stove (guess which one I went with).
I'll be back soon with another recipe! Or not. Who knows. I'm clearly not reliable.
Flour for dredging
Olive oil for frying
Marinara sauce OR traditional tomato sauce referenced above (recipe to follow)
1. Peel the eggplant and cut lengthwise into slices about 1/8 inch thick (I got about 10 slices out of one eggplant).
2. Place the eggplant slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt on both sides and let sit for about 1 hour to extract some of the liquid from the eggplant.
3. Dredge the eggplant lightly in flour, shaking off any excess.
4. Coat a frying pan with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant in batches until golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. When each batch is done, place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
5. While hot, sprinkle with salt. Eat as is or top with either marinara sauce or the following tomato and wine vinegar sauce.
Traditional sauce pairing for Sicilian Eggplant:
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1.5 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
salt to taste
1. Thin the tomato paste out with the water. Cook tomato paste over low heat for 1 minute.
2. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
3. Add the wine vinegar and mix to incorporate. Let reduce over low heat for about 3 minutes. If it seems to be getting too thick, add a little more water to thin it out.
4. Add salt to taste. Serve over the eggplant.
Ryan's rating of Sicilian Eggplant: 5 for either sauce option, 4 for the plain option (swap those for me and the kids)
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.