We've been making a real effort around here to eat vegetarian more often - at least 3-4 times a week. Since we only buy local, humanely raised meat that is more expensive, we can't afford to have meat in every meal. Add in Gunnar's rejection of chicken now that we have chickens running around in the yard, and voila! Quest for vegetarian options that we all love. I'm going to throw a few of them up her for everyone else to enjoy this week.
Melissa was lamenting the fact that she had 8 eggplant in her CSA bag and two family members who hate eggplant. I suggested thinly sliced, fried eggplant because everyone in my house loves it. Then I wondered if I had written about it here, and being lazy, I decided just to write about it. Good things can always bear repeating. We learned this recipe from our friend Yolanda, who is from the Valencia region of Spain.
Spanish Fried Eggplant
serves 8-10 as an appetizer but is easily scalable up or down.
1 large or 3-4 small eggplant, sliced into thin (1/8 - 1/4") slices crosswise
1 cup of flour, seasoned with salt
honey (the more flavorful the better - we use darker honeys)
sea salt or another high quality salt
oil for frying
flat bottom pan with 3" or higher sides
Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, shake off excess, and stack on a plate. Let sit for 30-45 minutes to let the eggplant absorb the flour.
To eat - just let everyone dig in. Drizzle each slice with a bit of honey and sprinkle a little salt on it. Eat. Smack your lips and eat more.
The eggplant itself becomes really soft and custardy inside the crispy crust. There's none of the mouthfeel that usually turns people off to eggplant. And the honey and salt with it? mmm... delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.