Eat Good Food; Eggplants Are in Season!

Of all the vegetables in the world, at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen, I love the ones that are in season! There are so many wonderful choices out there. Speaking of seasonal vegetables, eggplants are a great way to get your Vitamins A, C and B complex, and potassium. They contain about 30 calories per cup. They’re a yummy and simple way to incorporate new flavors into your meals.

When purchasing eggplant, always choose the fruit that’s glossy and shiny. Dull colored ones will be bitter. Eggplants are perishable, so use them within 2 or 3 days of purchase. Both cold and warm temperatures can damage eggplant. It is best to store eggplant uncut and unwashed in a plastic bag in the cooler section of the refrigerator.

Do not force the eggplant into the crisper if it is too big, as this will bruise the vegetable. Eggplant may be blanched or steamed then frozen for up to 6 months. Under ideal storage, 40-45 degrees F with high humidity (85%) they will keep only about one week.

This is a fun, light, summery salad that would be a perfect way to enjoy your eggplant. You could bring it to work for lunch and feel full for the rest of the day.

Bulgur Wheat Salad with Tomato and Eggplant

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the bulgur according to the package directions.
  2. Arrange the eggplant slices on 2 baking sheets. Brush both sides with a total of 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  3. Broil the eggplant, 1 sheet pan at a time, until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the basil.
  5. Transfer the bulgur to a large bowl and top with the eggplant and tomato mixture before serving.

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