A passion for purple
It seems people either love eggplant or they don’t. I love it, especially baked eggplant marinara! I love the rich, dark purple color and its smooth, shiny skin. I love the fact that — if you can get them growing where you live — once planted, they’ll likely surprise you with their magic and produce way more than you could imagine. If you have friends or family who grow them they’ll probably pass several on to you to enjoy. Case in point: when I got home from a recent trip to visit my family, I discovered that a few from my Uncle Tom’s garden somehow made their way into my suitcase. (I usually take my time unpacking…good thing I was on the ball this time…can you imagine?!)
Look forward to the leftovers!
Eggplants are versatile for vegetarian meals, and there are so many ways to prepare them. Growing up in an Italian household, I’m used to eating them breaded and baked with a great marinara sauce (the more garlic the better). For my mom, the preferred preparation method is to pan fry them first before baking them. Granted, they’re delicious made that way, but they’re just as tasty if you simply bake them. Plus it’ll make you feel less guilty about enjoying them with fresh cheese!
One of my favorite ways to eat baked eggplant marinara is as a leftover, cold and straight out of the fridge. If you can make it past just plating them and digging in, try serving them on a slice of crunchy Italian bread with a slice of provolone cheese. I’m drooling…