Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 221

Indian Eggplant: If memory serves me right, this is the third type of eggplant I've tried during the course of my blog. Other than the slightly bitter Thai version, I haven't noticed many differences in flavor between them. I like eggplant, so whenever I spot a type I haven't tried, it's hard to resist.

On my last trip to Your Dekalb Farmers Market, I noticed these Indian eggplants in the produce section. They looked like tiny versions of the larger ones commonly found in most grocery stores, and I wondered if they tasted different. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm trying hard to find new foods that require cooking. Eating prepared foods is convenient, but having to cook some of what I find keeps things interesting for me (and hopefully my readers, too).
Since I didn't want them to spoil, I decided to go ahead and cook these as a side dish with tonight's dinner. Most of the recipes I found required elaborate Indian-style spices and preparation, so I chose to keep it simple and roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Plus, I wanted to know what they tasted like unadulterated. After slicing them, they didn't look much different on the inside than the other types I've tried. In addition to their dark purple skin, they also featured a whitish flesh studded with tiny seeds that oxidized almost immediately.
After roasting for about 20 minutes, I took them out of the oven and gave them a try. Honestly, they didn't taste any different from the other varieties of purple-skinned eggplant I've had. The skin had a slight crunch, and the interior was tender after the roasting process. Not much else to report.

If you like eggplant but feel like you might waste the massive purple ones found in most markets, give these tiny Indian specimens a try. They taste the same, but won't require you to cook enough eggplant to feed an army.

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