Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Great CSA Experiment Continues: Standoff with a Baby Thai Eggplant

This week has been a soul searching week. I think what has happened is that I may have gotten a little cocky about the CSA. I thought that coming up with recipes each week would be a total no brainer.


The Baby Thai Eggplant surfaced in the box. You would think that something so little and cute would be easy to deal with, but then again, babies are little and cute you do the math!

Fast Facts:
  • Refrigerate in an unsealed plastic bag in crisper drawer. Use within five days of purchase for optimum quality
  • About 30 calories per cup
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a ton of dietary fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese
For the last 3 days, I have had my own personal staring contest with these babies. I've stood at the kitchen sink, holding them, twirling them, and waiting for divine intervention.

Food styling by my 9 year old.
So I did what any loving mother would do. I sliced that baby in half with my shiny CutCo knife. My nine year old, sharing my intrigue,  sniffed it with me like a Bloodhound and we decided it smelled like, wait for it......eggplant.

I had heard (through the Google Grapevine), that Baby Thai Eggplants are very bitter. So I decided it would not be eaten by itself and that I'd have to jazz it up a bit. Surprisingly, there were not many recipes out there but I guess that's probably because they are not a mainstream veggie (actually, they are a fruit).

So here is what I did

I cut off the stems and then sliced into 1/8 inch thick slices. I laid them out on paper towels to see how much moisture would come out. (Not as wet as a traditional eggplant.) Then I brushed them with olive oil on both sides and sprinkled salt, pepper and garlic powder over the tops. I roasted them on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes at 400 to 425 degrees until lightly golden brownish.

They looked like this
They actually tasted good just as is. But of course, I needed to take them a step further and did what I know best. You guessed it, I put them on a pizza.

And then.... 

1. I caramelized 2 large onions. If you don't know how to do this, please click here for directions. And if you've never tried caramelized onions on pizza, you are missing out on a fabulous topping! Even my husband loves them and he hates onions.

2. Spread out the dough in pizza pan. Sprinkled goat cheese or blue cheese over the dough (I did half on one side, half on the other to please myself  and my husband. Wink wink).

3. Laid the onions over the cheese(s)

4. Spread roasted baby eggplant slices over the onions

5. Topped this with some chopped up baby bella mushrooms because they were ready to expire

6.  Place some sliced roma tomatoes from CSA box over the eggplant slices. Seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes

7. Sprinkled grated Parmesan over the top and light drizzle of olive oil

8. Baked 20 minutes at 425 or until the crust was golden
Baby Thai Eggplant Pizza
I overcame my fear of the Baby Thai Eggplant!

More ideas:
  • Grill them after marinating in some soy sauce and fresh ginger
  • Use in your favorite grilled veggie wrap, sandwich, or pannini with balsamic vinegar dressing
  • And here's a quick and easy recipe which includes bok choy
Have you cooked yours yet? If so, how did you do it? Please share your ideas here. I may have to create a special Mom's group for this very misunderstood group of babies.

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