How to Nuke an Eggplant

Posted on by DebbieN eggplant is one of those warm-climate foods. It ’ s big, cheap, and ample, it goes with everything from garlicky oregano-and-fennel laden tomato sauce to nutmeg-tinged custard or cumin/cinnamon-scented Greek and North African dishes, to curries and darkly soy-glazed Chinese and Thai dishes. You can deep-fry it, panfry it, grill it and serve it room-temperature under a glistening level of olive oil, marinade it, wrap it around early fillings, gorge it, roast it, make spreads with it… There ’ s even a greek eggplant “ spoon sweet ” and at least one eggplant “ jam ” from Morocco. To say nothing of pink-tinged sour eggplant pickles, one of my favored additions at the Israeli falafel stands .
The only thing you don ’ t actually want to do with eggplant is eat it raw .
I NEVER annoyance with the common cookbook directions for eggplant. All of them slavishly recopy instructions from their predecessors–salt it, drain it, fry it in tons of expensive olive petroleum, which it will soak up mercilessly, bake it for an hour merely to find it however has spongy sensitive spots… They never bother to update, or even retest, the traditional assumptions that make eggplant such a pain.

You can forget most of that if you precisely nuke your eggplants first. Most of the stuff people do to their eggplants comes of just trying to get it cooked through. The strategic arms limitation talks ’ s to get rid of some of the water ; the fatty ’ second to cook it hotter and let the juices steam inside the slices .
Microwaving takes wish of both, needs neither adipose tissue nor strategic arms limitation talks, and it ’ s identical quick–10 minutes on HIGH on a pyrex pie plate for 1 or 2 decent-sized eggplants and you ’ ve got either collapsed unharmed eggplant ( s ) ready for baba ghanouj or a fan of slices or a batch of bite-sized cubes. All of them cooked through and quick to do something more concern with .
I used to think I was alone in the wilderness on this one, because NO ethnic cookbook–or any early cookbook with eggplant recipes–ever considers the being of microwave, much less condones it for cooking actual food. But an indian supporter says home cook there have been nuking their eggplants for decades now. So I feel vindicated .
good wash and stem the eggplant, then either leave it whole for pulp or cut it into whatever kind of slices you want-crosswise rounds, lengthwise slices for wrapping around ricotta or other fillings, cubes, wedges-whatever. If your recipe calls for other roasted or grilled vegetables, you could slice and layer them with the eggplant and microwave them all together before finishing under a broiler or in a fry pan for a few minutes. Put the pieces on a big Pyrex or other microwaveable dish-pie plate, mixing bowl, casserole, whatever works for you. Nuke them uncover 10 minutes for 1-2 eggplants .
once they ’ rhenium cooked, you can do what you want with them : Lay them out on oil foil and broil them, heat a little garlic and dress powder and/or early spices in a spoon or so of olive oil and stir-fry the cook cube of eggplant to brown and flavor them, whatever your recipe calls for .
Microwave times, unlike conventional bake times, increase with the quantity of food in the oven. equally farseeing as you ’ re only cooking a batch of one or two eggplants, nuking for 10 minutes is more efficient than baking in a conventional oven for an hour. If you ’ rhenium cooking 10 or more eggplants at a time, the time and quantity–even assuming you could fit them all into your microwave–will add up adequate to make baking them all at once in a regular oven the better count .
so anyhow, here we go. First we ’ rhenium going to nuke a wholly eggplant or so for spreads, then we ’ ll take a spirit at setting up dishes that call for frying or grilling cubes or slices. The results are a set more authentic than the traditional, and they taste just deoxyadenosine monophosphate dear, but without all the expect .
Update [6/5/10] –I ’ ve finally posted a demonstration of how to squeeze out the pulp from a whole microwaved eggplant in one go. once you get the cling of it, it ’ second more efficient and a batch quicker than trying to peel with a smooch or pitchfork .
Whole Microwaved Eggplant(s) for Pulp– Baba Ghanouj etc.

  • 1-2 medium or large eggplants
  • table salt (optional)
  • Pyrex pie plate

Scrub the eggplants well and cut off the caps–watch out for thorns, they ’ re hard to see but truly cruddy. Sprinkle salt on the outside of the still-damp eggplants and the slice end if you want–it toughens the peel a bite and makes it easier to scoop or squeeze the pulp out subsequently. OR just peel the eggplants before nuking thus you don ’ t have all the mess and trouble subsequently. Microwave uncovered 10 minutes on HIGH ( 1100 W or higher oven ). Eggplants with the skin on should collapse and soften, and the bark will be wrinkled and saggy in places. Peeled eggplants should be fairly delicate and show a “ bruise ” when you press them with a feel or a smooch. Let cool in a colander over a bowl so that some of the thick unhorse brown juice drains out before you scoop or mash them .
Baba Ghanouj with Microwaved Eggplant
Baba Ghanouj

  • Pulp from 1-2 medium-large eggplants
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons tehina (pure ground sesame paste), or more according to taste, desired creaminess, and ambitions for waistline–if you want it less fatty, use less tehina or none and sub in 1/2 t Chinese toasted sesame oil
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1-2 big cloves of garlic, mashed or finely grated
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • large dollop of plain non- or low-fat yogurt, optional
  • 2-3 drops liquid smoke, optional, or 1/4 t ground caraway
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro leaves, optional
  • salt to taste, optional–shouldn’t need much if any, especially if you use yogurt. Try without salt first.

Puree or hand-chop the cook eggplant pulp with the other ingredients to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature with raw dipping vegetables ( carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower ) or toasted pita ( but best of all on fresh home-made pita ). Leftover baba ghanouj is besides great stirred into blistering wheaten spaghetti or fettucine as a kind of eggplant sesame noodles .
Microwaved eggplant slices

Quick Grilled Sliced Eggplant
Wash and stem the eggplant, then cut it into whatever kind of slices you want, microwave uncovered 10 minutes for 1-2 eggplants. Oil lightly and put slices in a toaster oven or under a broiler to grill the outsides, or brown thinly in a spoon of olive oil with garlic and curry powder in a teflon-lined frying pan. If you sliced it lengthwise, you can wrap the broiled slices around rectangles of feta with basil leaves or dollops of herbed ricotta, and serve with marinara ( sprinkle some fennel seeds into it ) .
Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper, and Onion Appetizer (or sandwich filling…)

  • 1-2 sliced eggplants (crosswise, rounds or half-moons, or bite-sized cubes, as you prefer)
  • 1-2 sweet red peppers in bite-sized pieces or long thin slivers, as you prefer
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and either diced or sliced into quarter-inch or thinner wedges
  • big fat clove or so of garlic, mashed or grated, in 2-3 tablespoons or so extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch or more dry or fresh thyme

Layer or alternate the vegetable slices therefore that eggplants, peppers, and onions are all interracial together. Nuke for 10 minutes. Pour over the olive petroleum, garlic, and thyme, stir or circulate. If you want to, pan fry or or grill the mix briefly to color, or roast for 15-20 minutes in a hot ( ~400 F ) oven. Cool and cool in the electric refrigerator. This gets better, more mellowly, after a day, and it lasts well over a week if you keep it refrigerated and closely wrapped ( not in thwart ! ) with the publicize squeezed out. It doesn ’ t need salt but pairs well in hearty sandwiches with feta, hummus, or gorgonzola-type cheeses .

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Filed under : fudge, DASH Diet, Microwave tricks, Revised recipes, Vegetabalia | Tagged : eggplant, baba ghanouj, eggplant, eggplant parmigiana, involtini, Mediterranean diet, melanzana, mezze, microwave cook, microwaved eggplant, Middle Eastern cook, vegetarian fudge |