I have a pretty open mind when it comes to vegetables. I think it is because I used to eat almost no vegetables at all as a child and teenager - a big part of becoming an adult for me was trying new things (especially foods - new cuisines, new veggies, etc) and learning to appreciate them. Even if their tastes, textures, or whatever was really unfamiliar and maybe not awesome at first.
But for some reason, I really have never been into eggplant. Chris made me fried eggplant a few times in our relationship, but that's fried food, and really we all know that anything fried is going to taste pretty good. I'm not in a place right now where I'm looking to eat fried food!!!
This past weekend at the co-op, I saw gorgeous, local, baby eggplants. They were so colorful and shiny and for some reason, I had a really strong craving for them. So we went a little Italian style and made an eggplant and meatball dinner:
We sautéed beans and onions with pepper, garlic and lemon juice:
We mixed up ground chicken with egg, coconut flour (both used as binders), garlic, rosemary, basil, pepper, and lots of other spices to make our meatballs. We seared them in the cast-iron and then finished roasting them in the oven:
The eggplant we did really simply. We sliced them, put them on parchment paper, sprayed them with olive oil, put a little black pepper and garlic powder on them, and roasted at 400° for about a half hour:
And had a lovely Italian flavored (very Mediterranean, with all the olive oil and lemon juice and things like that - fresh vegetables and simple protein) meal:
I am an eggplant convert!! It was so tender and really soaked up all the flavors of the spices.
I know there is a ton of nutrition in eggplant, and it's usually pretty cheap at the store, so I'm glad to have finally added this vegetable into our rotation :)