Baba Ghanoush

1 large Eggplant, whole
1-2 T Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/4 C Lemon Juice
2 T Tahini (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Either over the open flame of a gas range, under an electric broiler, or over a hot grill, roast the whole eggplant until the skin is charred and blistered and the eggplant is soft. Set aside to cool.

Once cool, peel off as much of the skin as possible and place the flesh in a food processor. Add the garlic, oil, tahini (if using), and lemon juice, and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as a side with fresh pita bread, or spread on any sandwich for an extra creamy, smoky punch.

Oaxaca Summer Squash and Corn Medley

1 yellow crookneck squash, sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 small eggplant, peeled, and cut into 1″ cubes (optional)
2 medium corn on the cob
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces of Oaxaca Queso Fresco, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 T. salsa verde
1 T. salt
salt and pepper to taste

In a sautee pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium until a splash of water sizzles.  Add the eggplant cubes and sprinkle evenly with 1 T. salt.  Sautee for five minutes over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook for 15 minutes.  Add onions, zucchini and squash.  Stir well and cover.  Continue cooking over low heat for another 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, using a sharp paring knife, hold the corn cob small side up and cut the kernels off the cob.  Add pesto or salsa verde to squash and eggplant mixture at the end of the total 30 minutes cooking time.  Eggplant and onions should be transluscent and squash should be soft but the slices still intact.  Taste.  Correct the seasoning.  Just before serving, add the fresh corn kernels and Queso Fresco.  Stir.  Cover for 2-3 minutes until cheese begins to soften and kernels are cooked.

Eggplant Chutney

A favorite of ours to preserve, but is good fresh too. Adapted from Preserving by Oded Schwarz

1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 t salt
1 T oil
1 t sesame seed
1 bulb garlic, peeled
1 small onion, minced
1 hot pepper, seeded and minced
1 c cider vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1t paprika

Toss the eggplant with salt and set aside. Drain, rinse, pat dry

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the sesame seeds over high heat, cook until the seeds begin to pop.

Add the eggplant, garlic, peppers, and onion and cook, stirring regularly. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the eggplant is soft. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook until thickened. Add a few mint leaves if desired. Allow to cool before serving. Will keep for a while in the refrigerator, and improves with age. Goes great with lamb!

Risotto with Tomato, Eggplant and Mint

1 eggplant
2 medium tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and finely chopped) 
5-6 basil leaves torn
4 cups veggie stock
1 cup unwashed risotto 2/3 cup Parm-Regg (I use pec. romano) 
1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
olive oil
1 T finely chopped mint 

Peel the eggplant and cut it lengthwise into 1" thick slabs. Brush the slabs lightly with olive oil and dust lightly with salt and pepper. Lay slices on broiling tray about 4" from heat source. Broil until both sides are lightly browned. Cut into 1" dice.

Heat the stock and keep it hot over very, very low heat. Put 3T olive oil into large, heavy, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Put in the onion; stir fry for a minute. Add tomatoes and basil; stir fry for a minute. Add eggplant; stir fry for a minute. Then, add rice and stir fry for 1 minute. Pour a generous ladle of stock and turn heat to medium. Stir the risotto until the stock has been absorbed, and then add another ladle-ful. Keep stirring and adding stock until all the stock has been used up or the rice is fully cooked (minimum of 22 minutes). Add the cheese and stir until it has disappeared into the rice. Sprinkle the mint over and drizzle quality olive oil over the top. Let sit for a minute or two before serving. (Serves 3-4. Adopted from Madhur Jaffrey's "World Vegetarian" 1999).

Cheesy, Saucy Eggplant

tomato sauce of your choosing
mozzarella cheese, shredded
fresh basil, sliced
olive oil and salt 

Peel and slice eggplants thinly long wise. Place on a baking rack over a baking sheet and brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes @ 350, removing from oven halfway through to flip and oil/salt the other side. Remove from oven. Add a dab of sauce, a sprinkling of basil and cheese to each slice. Bake another few minutes until cheese is melty.