Eggplant or also known as Aubergine is part of the nightshade (Solanacene) family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and chili peppers.
Like all other edible members of the nightshade family, the eggplant is a fruit.
It is called "eggplant" in the United States, Canada, and Australia because the first eggplants in those countries were purely ornamental and featured egg-shaped white and yellow fruit. Today this variety of eggplant is called "White Egg."
In Britain, it is called "aubergine," the same as in French.
In South African English and in Indian, it is called "brinjal."
The Italians call it "melanzane," which means "crazy apple."
The act of salting and rinsing eggplant to reduce bitterness is called "degorging." An old practice, it is not as necessary these days because modern eggplants are less bitter.
Salting eggplant will reduce the amount of oil absorbed in cooking.
Eggplant has many helath benefits. Eggplants have a low calorie content and are rich in vitamin C, potassium and calcium, dietary fibre and manganese.
It's health value means that it is good for keeping general health and losing weight.
What is eggplant parmesan? Well, eggplant parmesan actually came from the Italians in Naples which call it "Melanzane all Parmigiana". Because the main ingredients inlude eggplant and "parmigiana"(parmesan) cheese, they name came about.
Here is a recipe that i really enjoy!
1 bottle of tomato sauce
1 clove of garlic
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin oil
salt and sugar
In a pot with a high edge, fry lightly the clove of garlic with a jet of oil, once it becomes bleached start cooking the sauce until it reduces its volume. While it is cooking, add some basil leaves and, if necessary, neutralize the acidity of the sauce with a teaspoon of sugar.
In the meantime, prepare the eggplants. Cut the eggplants tips but don't peel them. Wash them and cut them into slices, but they shouldn't be too thin - just about half centimeter thick - along the longest side. Put the slices in a colander with a pinch of salt and leave them drain. This operation allows for removing the typical acidity from the eggplants and it also prevents them from absorbing too much oil while they are being cooked.
Heat up abundant oil in a frying pan - the amount of oil should be enough to fry. In the meantime, rinse the eggplants and dry them in a cloth. When the oil is warm enough, fry the eggplants. Once fried, let them drain on absorbent paper, so that they loose their oil excess. Finally salt the fried eggplants.
Get an oven baking-pan and lay a first layer of eggplants. Sprinkle them with the sauce and add some basil leaves. Cut the mozzarella into slices and put them on the sauce. Complete the layer with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Keep on adding layers to complete the baking-pan in all of its height.
Bake for about 20 minutes and then take to the table after completing the preparation with a last sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
For some great Eggplant Parmesan recipes, visit Eggplant Parmesan
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