Wednesday, June 14, 2017



Gardening | Eggplants

Growing eggplants can be a very rewarding experience especially if you are a big fan of Italian cuisine.  This year we are growing, Millionaire, a Japanese style eggplant and Fairy tale eggplant, a miniature eggplant. Both prefer a hot, sunny location.

Eggplant Millionaire (Solanum melongena var. esculentum)

Eggplant is a brilliant culinary thrill for summertime. It is a relative of potatoes, tomatoes and peppers, otherwise known as nightshades. The most popular dish, eggplant Parmesan is a staple menu item in Italian cuisine. The origin of the dish is claimed by both the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily

Eggplant Millionaire (Solanum melongena var. esculentum) flower

Eggplant Parmesan
Make eggplant parmesan instead of lasagna to skip the unnecessary carbs and still enjoy all the cheesy goodness.


2 large
Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp
2 cups
¼ cup
2 (1 lb.)

½ cup
¼ cup
½ tsp.
1 ½  tsp.
¼ tsp.
1 (15-oz)
1 large

1 (24-oz)
¼ tsp.
8 oz.
¾ cup
Whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼ - ½-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray

Torn fresh basil
Grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Crushed red pepper
Minced garlic
Container part-skim ricotta cheese
Egg, lightly beaten

Jar pasta sauce
Salt (optional)
Thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
Finely grated fontina cheese


1.      Preheat oven to 375°
2.       To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes. To make filling, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through egg).
3.      To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.


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Grassroots Horticulture