I don’t even know what to call this recipe, because it was hastily scribbled out on a piece of scrap paper for me over the weekend, nameless. Isn’t that how some of the very best recipes come to you? I have a friend who works at a farm stand (I think I would totally love that job as a side gig!), and as she helps customers with their fruit and vegetable purchases during the day, she must ask them what they’re making because she always has a new recipe or three to share.
This past weekend, she mentioned a diabetic customer who makes baked apples using Dr. Pepper (it might have been Diet Dr. Pepper, I have since blocked it out). I couldn’t get past the Dr. Pepper part, so that wasn’t one of the recipes I asked her to copy down for me. This eggplant one sounded perfect though, and I made it last night, and after the mandatory overnighting in the fridge, it made its way into a sandwich at lunchtime.
Eggplant and I don’t really have a long history. I like it just fine but don’t go seeking it out too often. The kids aren’t fans, and The Ex never was, so it became one of those take-it-or-leave-it things for me. That and I think I have a slight allergy to it. The roof of my mouth gets a little itchy if I eat eggplant or Swiss cheese. If I remember correctly, my sister has the same problem. Not so much that we stay away from it, just one of those weird little food footnotes.
So the recipe… while Madeline slept and Nick made the Banana Cake, I made the Roasted Acorn Squash from a few weeks back and this eggplant. You’ll have to forgive the directions for the recipe; you know how passed-down recipes are, rarely exact, powered by intuition, but above all, delivering goodness.
The smell was amazing, largely due in part to the garlic. It didn’t say how much garlic to use, but I ended up using three or four garlic cloves. It’s a good thing Madeline was my only lunch company today because I’m certain my breath reeked. Totally worth it though.
The recipe mentions using the frying oil at the end and pouring it over everything. Which means the originator of the recipe probably used way more oil than I did. I used a scant amount, just enough to brown the eggplant on both sides, so there wasn’t any residual oil leftover at the end.
Ok, so what to you do with the eggplant the next day? She said the gentleman ate it in sandwiches … as in, any place where you would add a tomato, you’d add this instead. Or in addition to. Your call, of course. I made a whole wheat turkey sandwich and added arugula, sliced tomato and the eggplant. OMG. For something so crazy simple, it is to-die for good.
Thinking ahead to the holidays, and how every holiday table in our family is never without a good Italian antipasto platter, I think this would make a fantastic addition to the plate, right next to the prosciutto, mortadella and roasted red peppers.
If you try out the recipe (and please do!), I’d love to hear the creative ways you use the eggplant too.
What is so comforting about Corning Ware? I only have a few pieces of it, but they are definitely my go-to casserole dishes… there’s just something old school about seeing the familiar blue and white design. Reminds me of cooking with my Mom in the kitchen when I was growing up.
After I pick her up from school, she always asks if she can watch Olivia “for only a few minutes, Mommy” before going upstairs for her nap. Sometimes she doesn’t quite make it upstairs. Both kids sometimes sleep with their eyes slightly open. Which I find more than slightly creepy.
Layered Overnight Eggplant and Garlic
In casserole dish, drizzle a little bit of vinegar on the bottom.
As eggplant is cooked, layer in dish with sliced garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.
Keep layering until you’re done.
Drizzle vinegar over top. Drip leftover oil over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Using a spatula, flip the eggplant in the morning. Eat.