As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I take great pride in getting others to eat healthy without realizing that’s what they’re doing! One of my favorite ingredients to sneak by people is eggplant. So many people have eaten slimy eggplant at the hands of someone who didn’t know the secret to cooking it properly. So what’s the secret??? You have to drain that stuff!!!
Eggplant is an odd vegetable. It can get slimy. Yuck!!! And it can get tough if over cooked. My trick to avoid slimy eggplant is to drain it well. Whether you’re slicing it for dishes like eggplant Parmesan or chopping it for the dish I made here, you can drain it the same way.
You want to peel and slice or dice your eggplant and then layer it in a colander, making sure to salt each layer. You want to make sure as much of the eggplant as possible gets salted. Then you need to weight it down to press the water out. I put a small, salad sized plate over the top of the eggplant in the colander and then put something heavy on top of the plate. I then just set the whole thing in the sink and let it sit for about an hour. As time goes by, you can feel the water draining frrom the bottom of the colander. Now when you proceed to cook whatever dish you’re making don’t forget all the salt you’ve already incorporated. You want to tread lightly with any additional salt, so you don’t over salt your dish.
Chicken Eggplant Pasta
Note: This could also be a tasty vegan dish by just leaving out the chicken.
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut in to bite size pieces
1 small eggplant, peeled,diced and drained
8 Crimini mushrooms, diced
3 fresh medium tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp fresh basil, diced
1/2 cup White wine
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp prepared pesto sauce, fresh or jarred
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, pressed or diced
16 oz. Whole wheat pasta, cooked
Add olive oil to large sauté or frying pan. Add chicken and cook until chicken starts to cook on all sides. Add eggplant and cook another 3-4 minutes until eggplant begins to soften. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, wine, vinegar, pesto and garlic and cook a few more minutes until mushrooms soften. After chicken is cooked all the way through add salt and pepper to taste. Remember to easy with the salt as you already salted the eggplant. Toss your chicken and veggies with pasta and serve.