Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Mama's Cooking: Eggplant Sliders

For years I have been experimenting with making a healthier eggplant. Recipes frequently instruct cutting, salting, resting and rinsing which I deem unnecessary. Recipes also frequently instruct frying which gets to the nitty gritty of my quest. For years I brushed with olive oil and baked, grilled, or dipped in bread crumbs and baked. While brushing with olive oil used less oil than frying it was still oily. I've tried simply baking, roasting, broiling or grilling and ignoring oil at all, but that left the eggplant tough. Finally, I figured it out!

First I use my new oil limit, which is one tablespoon, and fry about six cloves of finely chopped garlic until golden. This is important! Let the oil cool a bit. I then add a strong veggie broth and the easiest way to do this, if you haven't made your own, is to double or triple in strength in one cup of water those salt-free, vegan Rapunzel veggie cubes. I add my new best friend---Aleppo chilies, a freshly ground black pepper/cayenne blend and perhaps some other herbs according to my whim.

After boiling it a bit I dip the cut eggplant, flip and dip again. A nearby cookie sheet covered with parchment paper eventually goes into a 350 oven filled with my eggplant for about ten minutes per side.

I doesn't matter if you're making horizontal or vertical slices that are thick or thin. You can cut thick slices into cubes. The resultant eggplant is tender, tasty, and ready for your next step which may be these sliders.

Now, the sliders are simply an assembly process.

On toasted mini whole wheat pitas spread pesto. Add an eggplant round then a slice of tomato. Sprinkle some cheese---your favorite, perhaps Daiya mozzarella type. A little oregano and basil would be good. Put them back in the oven to melt the cheese. Eat each one in two or three bites.

xx Mama and Molly

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