This week’s Secret Ingredient for the Friday Foodie Fix is Eggplant. If I asked you where eggplant is native to or where it most likely originated would you guess India or Burma? Experts can’t agree which of those two countries it was, but with all of the great eggplant ethnic eggplant recipes (e.g. eggplant parmigiana or ratatouille) out there you could be excused for coming up with Italy or France. Turkey alone is thought to have over 1,000 recipes for eggplant. There are many varieties of eggplant which range in color, shape and size. I have seen the ones that are black, pink and white striped, and lavender but have yet to see the varieties that are yellow, orange, green or brown.
The great debate about eggplant is to salt or not to salt. Some say that salting takes away any bitterness and others say it collapses air pockets so it won’t soak up so much oil. No matter how you prep your eggplant you can cook it by baking, grilling, sauteing or frying. I used to dice it and cook it up in a pan with peperoni. This way I could hide it on the pizzas I made. I’ve not done that in some time but it’s always a possibility. Since eggplant takes on the strength of the flavors that you cook it with, you can hide the fact that you’re using if you have finicky diners who might rebel against the very idea of eating it.
I don’t have any eggplant recipes on this blog yet so I’m counting on you to share with me some options. I can’t wait to see what you share. If you need info on the rules for Friday Foodie Fix click here. Oops, I forgot to share what next week’s Secret Ingredient will be. Next week’s Secret Ingredient will be …………. Onions!