Eggplant is the rather prosaic English name for this generally purple vegetable; aubergine is the much more elegant French name; in Italy it's called melanzane.
Melanzane??? Oh, oh, I've got to be careful here. Back in August 2007, I reported on a recipe from a book by Tessa Kiros in a Slow Travel premium forum. My modest contribution stimulated a heated discussion, known to some of us as The Great Slowtravel Melanzane War, a summary of which can be found here.
In truth, I have developed a fondness for eggplant. It is something that I never knew much about or planted in my garden until we started our annual trips to Europe. I think I knew that it was the basis of moussaka, which I had a couple of times in restaurants, but that's about it. However, our trips to France, Italy and Portugal stimulated me to broaden my cooking resources beyond The Joy of Cooking, Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book or the Looneyspoons trilogy - the last reference may make sense only to fellow Canadians. I began acquiring cookbooks by authors with a European sensibility - Elizabeth David, Kate Hill, Patricia Wells, Julia Child, Ina Garten, Sarah Leah Chase, Richard Olney, Mireille Johnston, and, of course, our own Marcella Hazan.
And the plantings in my garden have evolved also, with the most obvious addition being a row of two or three varieties of eggplant. I have my favourites - I don't care for the Sicilian variety or the off-colours - and I still don't make use of all the eggplants I produce, but the sight of a row of these purple vegetables suggests that my culinary horizons have expanded.
In addition to the eggplants, I was also able to use my own parsley and garlic.
All of the ingredients, including bread crumbs, an egg, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, and flour in addition to the eggplant, garlic and parsley.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the first stage that involves baking, peeling, slicing and draining the eggplants before combining most of the ingredients together and shaping in the patties.
Then the patties are fried in the vegetable oil.
The final result with fresh green beans from the garden.
What I liked about this recipe:
Another great recipe from Marcella's book - a novel way of preparing eggplants.
What I didn't I like about this recipe:
The trickiest part, to me anyway, was getting as much liquid as possible out of the sliced eggplant. I improved with practice.
Would I make it again?
Yes, this recipe is a winner! I made it a few times last summer & will do so again.