I am excited about this post because I am cooking one of my most favorite foods in the entire world -- eggplant.
My friend and I ventured to farmers market in Westwood on Thursday. It is located near the UCLA campus, so it's typically pretty busy. As soon as we arrived, there was a vendor with tons of bags of 3-4 pieces of eggplant for $3! I didn't think twice and immediately picked one up. I also grabbed some freshly made eggplant hummus from one of the vendors -- and also a bag of fresh basil for $1. I remembered I needed some fruit for the house, so I grabbed a couple green and purple plums and a few apples. They are all so fresh and delicious this season.
I was also in search for some olive bread since I had the eggplant hummus, and although none of the vendors had any left, I found the last loaf at the bake shop on the same street. It's called Le Pain Quotidien and ironically, there is one next to my house in Marina del Rey. Here's the website: http://www.lepainquotidien.us/#/en_US/locations/california/westwood. Chrissy, we should visit them this week when you visit - they have great lattes! :)
So, in case you couldn't guess - I will be posting today about cooking eggplant! I don't have any particular recipes for eggplant parm or eggplant lasagna, but I prefer tons of layers of eggplant with sauce and basil and cheese -- whatever you want to call it, works for me. Here are the veggies and sauces I am starting with, followed by a few cooking steps and tips.
After a few hours -- and after ringing out the eggplant, this is what it looks like. It doesn't look super appealing, but you will be thankful you did all this once you sit down to eat it.
After a few hours, it is finally time to begin the layering process. I start out with a drizzle of EVOO and a generous spread of marina sauce to coat the bottom of the dish. We don't want anything to burn or get stuck to the bottom of the dish.