One of the new veggies I cooked for Goal #46 was brinjals (also called eggplants or aubergines). I made a vegetarian moussaka dish for myself and a hearty beef lasagne for Ninja with one large brinjal.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the old trick of salting and ‘sweating’ the brinjals to remove any bitterness; apparently this isn’t necessary anymore because today’s varieties aren’t so bitter… but I wanted to try it just for fun anyway 🙂
I didn’t use a recipe at all; I just made it up as I went along (except for the sweating part, which I double-checked with my mom). But it was really easy, so here are the steps:
Step 1: Peel the brinjal and slice it into fairly thin rounds. Place rounds on a tray as shown, or lay them in a colander.
Step 2: Salt all the rounds on one side. Leave them to sweat for 15 minutes.
Step 3: After 15 minutes, dry the wet side of the rounds with a paper towel. Then turn the pieces over and repeat the process for the other side.
Step 4: Once both sides have been sweated and dried off, coat the rounds in a light dusting of flour.
Step 5: In a large pan, heat a thin layer of oil. Fry the rounds, turning over once golden brown. They tend to absorb a lot of oil, but if the oil is hot enough they don’t need to sit in it for too long. Once fried, drain well.
Step 6: This is where I split the brinjal into two amounts. For Ninja’s lasagne dish, I cut a few fried brinjal rounds into small bits and mixed them with his beef mince as I layered his lasagne. For my moussaka dish, I layered the brinjal in a dish with some fried mushrooms and a herby tomato sauce.
Step 7: I topped the last layer of brinjal with a grated cheese (a mix of cheddar and mozzarella), as with the lasagne. I baked both dishes at 180 °C for 45 minutes.
Step 8: Enjoy! 🙂
Rich enjoyed the extra ‘meaty’ filling in the lasagne, and my moussaka was delicious. It was rather rich and oily though, shew… I even spooned off some of the oil before serving it. I’ll have to look into other ways of preparing brinjals that don’t involve so much oil. But my thumb-sucked random recipe got 10 out of 10 for flavour!