Eggplant

Winter Squash Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

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Winter Squash Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

1 eggplant
1/2 T. oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups fusilli or rotini
1/2 T. oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 garlic clove. minced
5 sage leaves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup cooked and pureed butternut, buttercup or any other kind of winter squash
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Parmesan cheese

1. Roast the eggplant:
Preheat oven to 425.
Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Toss with 1/2 T. oil and 1/4 tsp salt. 
Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or cast iron pan. 
Roast until tender and browned, about 20 minutes (flip the eggplant halfway through to cook evenly).

2. Cook the pasta:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until done.

3. Make the sauce:
Heat 1/2 T. oil in a pot.
Add onions and saute until golden and tender.
Add the garlic, thyme, and sage, and saute briefly until fragrant.
Add the pureed winter squash, chicken stock, milk, salt, and pepper and cook until thick and bubbly.

4.  Mix everything together:
When the eggplant and pasta are done, add them to the pot with the sauce and heat through. 
Top with cheese and enjoy!
 

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Eggplant Pizza Crust

This pizza crust is for all my gluten-free, grain-free, or Keto fans.

I made my regular  Thai pizza recipe  but instead of putting the eggplant on the pizza, I put the pizza on the eggplant! Haha.

I made my regular Thai pizza recipe but instead of putting the eggplant on the pizza, I put the pizza on the eggplant! Haha.

I figured out a way to cut and roast eggplant in the shape of pizza slices.

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Eggplant Pizza Crust

Preheat the oven to 425.

If you want your eggplant without the skins, start by peeling it. I chose to leave my skins on because I wanted the structure that the skins would give the crust.

Cut the eggplant into 3/8” slices lengthwise. I was able to get 6 slices out of an average sized eggplant, which made enough for a single-serving pizza. Cut the stem end of the eggplant slice into a triangular shape. (You can put your scrap pieces in the frig and save them for another recipe.)

Brush both sides of the eggplant with oil.

Arrange the slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the eggplant is brown and semi-tender. Don’t bake it completely tender because it will continue to soften when you bake it with the toppings.

It is now ready for toppings. I made my regular Thai pizza recipe but omitted the roasted eggplant as a topping ingredient, since the crust was eggplant.

Ready for toppings!

Ready for toppings!

3 Myths You Don't Have to Believe about Eggplant

A couple years ago, eggplant was only a color in my mind.   I had no idea it was such a mild vegetable that cooks down into silky, brown deliciousness.  Now, eggplant is probably my favorite vegetable.

However, you might have heard some intimidating things about it.  Bitterness?  Sweating?  Turning brown?

Here are three myths you don't have to believe about eggplant:

#1- You need to peel it.  Nah- don't bother.  The peel adds texture and interest.

#2- You need to sweat it.  Supposedly eggplant is bitter and by salting it, you draw out all the bitterness.  I quit sweating it (pun intended) years ago and I have yet to meet a bitter eggplant coming from my own garden or any other local producer.  Save yourself the time and don't bother!

#3- It spoils quickly.  I have found that I can keep them at room temp on the counter top for several days.  If I only use half the eggplant for a recipe, I will put the other half of the eggplant in a bag in the frig and it will keep just fine that way for several days as well.

If you've never tried eggplant before, I hope this convinces you that eggplant is easy and fuss-free.  I will be sharing some of my favorite eggplant recipes, because I want to you to love eggplant as much as I do!

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Thai Chicken Pizza

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This pizza is my newest obsession.  Everyone I've made it for gave their hearty approval that this was worthy of a blog recipe.

For our pizzas, I used whole wheat tortillas for the crust, but feel free to use any crust you like.  I like how the tortillas allow the crust to take a back seat and let the other flavors and toppings take the stage.  This recipe will make enough sauce and toppings for 3 tortilla-sized pizzas.    

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce + toppings

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce + toppings

Finished!

Finished!

Begin by cooking the eggplant:

  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/4" cubes (peeled or unpeeled, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large skillet and add eggplant.  Sprinkle with salt and cover with a lid.  Saute until tender, flipping occasionally to cook evenly.  When done, the eggplant should be tender all the way through and no longer spongy.  It may be dark brown on the edges, but that is just fine.

Thai Pizza Sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes OR 1 T. fresh red jalapeno, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 T smooth peanut butter
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 2 T coconut aminos

Combine all the vinegar, honey, water, pepper, garlic, ginger, and salt in a small pot and simmer for about 10-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced to about 1/2 cup.
Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, oil, and coconut aminos.

Assemble the pizzas:

  • 3 tortillas or your favorite pizza crust
  • Thai Pizza Sauce
  • Chicken, pre-cooked and cut up into small pieces
  • Tomatoes
  • Green peppers
  • Roasted eggplant
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Thai basil, minced

Divide the pizza sauce between the three tortillas and spread evenly.
Top with chicken, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cheese.
Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes until done to your liking.
Garnish with Thai basil before serving.
Devour!
 

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Party in My Mouth Pasta Sauce

I posted this recipe on the blog last year and it got rave reviews.  David told me that when his wife made it, "It tasted like a party in my mouth".  I'll never forget that!

If you've never tried eggplant before, this would be a great recipe to try for the first time.  Seasoned eggplant lovers are going to love this as well.

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All the vegetables ready for the oven

All the vegetables ready for the oven

Party in My Mouth Pasta Sauce

  • 1.5 lb tomatoes (3-4 fist-sized tomatoes)
  • 1 eggplant (1/2 lb-1 lb depending on size of eggplant)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper or 2 smaller peppers, any kind you like
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 T. oil
  • a few leaves of basil, minced*
  • a few leaves of parsley, minced*
  • a few leaves of oregano, minced*
  • a sprig of thyme with the leaves removed*
  • 1/4+1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup beef or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425.  
Cut the tomatoes, peppers, and onions into 1" pieces.  Peel and cut the eggplant into 1/2" cubes. 
Lay all the vegetables- including the whole garlic cloves- in a single layer on a baking sheet (you many need two pans).  Drizzle with oil and mix to evenly coat the vegetables.  
Roast for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir.  Roast for 15 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender and brown around the edges.
Place all the vegetables in a food processor or blender with the herbs, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup broth and pulse briefly until it become a thick chunky sauce.  You can continue to process it depending on how thick or chunky you would like it.  Add an additional 1/4 cup broth if you would like to thin it out more.

Serve over pasta, spiralized summer squash, or quinoa, or use as a cracker dip!

Leave a comment if you make this!

These herbs can be purchased together in the Italian Herb Combo Pack here.

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