Brrrr…with this cold weather that Calgary has received today, I definitely want something warm to eat! I was always one to shy away from eggplant, mainly because I wasn’t really sure how to cook it. Has that ever happened to you? You stay away from foods you’re just a little unsure about? There are many resources out there that can teach you how to buy, store and cook those particular foods. Attending a cooking class is definitely one of them!
This is a recipe I received from the chef at a yoga/meditation retreat that I attended in Italy last year. It is a rather simple, but lengthy process. I’ve only ever made it on a Sunday because of the cooking time, but my oh my it is wonderful!
A word on eggplant, aka aubergine. It belongs to the nightshades, is related to tomatoes and potatoes but is actually a fruit – more specifically it is classified as a berry!! There are 3 different varieties of eggplant; the common aubergine usually dark purple but also with some white varieties. The dwarf aubergine, or the mini ones. And the snake or Chinese eggplant; this variety is usually a lighter purple colour with a long/skinny shape.
When you cook eggplant, because of its texture it can absorb quite a large amount of the fat in a recipe. Therefore it is usually recommended to salt, drain and rinse the chopped eggplant to help soften it up. You can do many things with eggplant; roasting, stewing and even just in stir fries. As for its nutrition, raw eggplant is mostly water, offering very little in carbohydrates and protein, but is considered still a good source of fibre. And for vitamins/minerals, manganese is the only mineral that it is moderately high in.
*To make the recipe low FODMAP friendly, omit the onion and garlic and use garlic infused olive oil*
Aubergine in Tomato Sauce
1 onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 cans (19 fl oz) whole tomatoes, preferably Marzano
2 med-large e ggplant, washed and chopped into 2 inch chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese – optional chopped mint or basil
1 – Preheat oven for 400°F
2 - Sweat one chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil
3 - Add the 2 cans of tomatoes (preferably Marzano) and sauté for one hour
4 - Meanwhile, chop eggplant into 2 inch chunks, toss generously with olive oil
5 - Place on a cookie sheet and roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes, shake
6 - Continue to roast until golden and soft then add to tomato sauce and cook for 20-30 minutes
7 - You may add fresh basil or mint to the sauce and serve with fresh grated parmesan
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.