Eggplant is a cold-sensitive vegetable that requires a long warm season for best yields. The culture of eggplant is similar to that of bell pepper, with transplants being set in the garden after all danger of frost is past. Eggplants are slightly larger plants than peppers and are spaced slightly farther apart. Eggplant requires careful attention for a good harvest. Small-fruited, exotic-colored and ornamental varieties can be grown in containers and used for decorations.
Nutritional Value & Health Benefits
Eggplants have a small amount of nutrients. They are naturally low in calories and unpeeled, they provide some fiber. There is also some folate and potassium.
Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, cubed )
Calories 27.7(Univ. Ill. Coop. Ext.) http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/eggplant.cfm
Protein .82 gram
Carbohydrates 6.57 grams
Dietary Fiber 2.48 grams
Phosphorus 21.78 mg
Potassium 245.52 mg
Folate 14.26 mcg
My favorite meal to make with eggplant is Eggplant Parmesan, although there are many other recipes: baba ganoush, ratatouille, frying it, baking it or grilling it. Don't be intimidated by eggplant pick on out and follow my easy recipe below!
2-4 Ichiban (or other variety) Eggplant
1 egg, whisked
1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 jar marinara sauce
1 8oz pkg mozzarella or italian blend cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350deg
2. One slice at a time, dip eggplant into egg, then coat both sides with breadcrumbs. Place coated eggplant slices on a baking stone or baking sheet. Repeat until all eggplant has been coated.
3. Place pan of coated eggplant in oven for ~15 min.
4. Remove from oven. In a 9x13 baking dish, layer eggplant, marinara sauce and cheese. Continue layering to the top of the pan. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminium foil.
5. Bake 25 min. Uncover, bake 5min more.
This recipe is great on it's own, served over whole wheat pasta or thick sliced Italian garlic bread. Pour a glass of your favorite wine and bon appetit!