Eggplants are a versatile vegetable. Stuffed, fried, baked, they conform to almost any recipe. Their deep purple glossy skin and sensuous shape make a pretty still life picture. But this shapely vegetable also comes in softer palettes of lavender, orange, white, and celedon green.
First cultivated in China in the 5th century, it migrated to Italy during the middle ages. The eggplant then spread throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. We can thank Thomas Jefferson and his fascination with gardening for introducing this luscious vegetable to America.
Cultivation and crossbreeding have solved the common complaint of eggplant’s bitterness. Taste varies slightly in varieties but it is generally considered mild in flavor with a spongy consistency. It contains potent antioxidants that protect cell membranes and it is high in manganese needed for bone-building.
Though most eggplant recipes include tomatoes, this one does not. It is because it is based on a Chinese recipe rather than a Mediterranean one. Why not try making eggplant the star of your next recipe with just a little meat flavoring. Its versatility will surprise you!
Eggplant with Shitake Mushrooms
2 large eggplants
¼ cup of canola oil
1 Lb. turkey sausage
1 cup chicken stock
4 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
10 ounces shitake mushrooms
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 bunch chopped cilantro
Pita bread or rice for serving
Heat oil in pan. Cube eggplant and sauté with salt and pepper for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile cook turkey sausage in another pan.
Add one cup of chicken stock to eggplant and continue to cook on medium heat.
Combine sausage with eggplant.
Add the soy sauce, sugar and shitake mushrooms.
Add the green onions and cilantro and gently combine.
Dish up and serve with warm pita bread or rice.