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Ugly Produce – Best Use: Eggplant Done 3 Ways!

Hey guys, we’re too excited to share with you some of the best, tastiest and healthiest recipes and menus a.k.a the best food makeovers you’d ever see through our series called ‘Ugly Produce – Best Use’!

We’ll transform the ugliest yet ‘farm fresh' produce from your favorite Misfits Box - seasonal veggies and fruits, into aesthetically beautiful dishes. And, we might even throw in some expert tips and tricks to make the best use of too many veggie extracts left from your last night meal prep.

Yup, we are going to kick-start this series with eggplants- the most hated and one of the least favored vegetables of all!

Most of the times, people handpick vegetables at grocery stores and toss out the ones that aren’t as good looking. As if eggplants were (read: ever) the first ones to get picked and if, by any chance, they’re not perfectly shaped: bye-bye grocery basket!

At Misfitx Box, we get you the farm-fresh produce in whatever shape and size they are at your doorstep. Remember even the ugliest looking vegetable carry the same amount of nutrients, sometimes evermore.

One of the best things about eggplants is that it’s a stand-alone veggie which can be sautéed, grilled, roasted, fried and stewed. However, we would like to fill you in on some nutritional and health pros and cons before we move on to share with you the recipes…

Pros:

  • High in antioxidants, fiber, copper and vitamin B1
  • Great source of potassium, folate, manganese, vitamin B6 and K
  • Boosts cardiovascular health and reduces cancer risk
  • Protects cell membranes and promotes sugar control
  • Boosts weight-loss
  • Takes on flavors too well

Cons:

  • People with kidney stones should avoid eggplant

 Let’s get started!

Recipe 1: Roasted Eggplant with Sesame and Miso Seeds

Topped with Asian flavors, this dish has the potential to be your family friend’s next favorite snack.

All you need:

  • 2-3 Eggplants
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Olive Oil
  • Chili Paste
  • Shredded Ginger
  • Miso
  • Honey
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Scallions (for garnish)

Method:

Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet and brush olive oil on both the sides. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Bake these slices for 18 minutes until tender and halfway through – flip them. Let them cool for 5 minutes.

While you’re baking the eggplant slices in the oven, mix – shredded ginger, olive oil, sesame oil (optional), chili paste, honey, miso, vinegar and water in a bowl.

Once the eggplant is done, brush the Miso mixture on both the sides and let it broil for up to four minutes. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and scallions

Tip: Use it as an appetizer or a side dish.

 

Recipe 2: Halibut Salad with Grilled Eggplant

One of the most sought after brunch dishes! All you got to do is grill-drizzle-gobble. The best thing about eggplant is that it can be as chewy as meat (the kids might not even know the difference.)

All you need:

Pieces of skinless Halibut

Eggplant cut into thick, round pieces

Soy sauce

Salt

Black pepper

Rice vinegar

Chopped ginger and jalapeno

Cilantro (for garnish)

Method:

Set the grill to medium-high. Meanwhile, mix and make a slurry of olive oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Brush this mixture on both sides the halibut and eggplant slices. Grill the slices until slightly charred, flipping them halfway through – five minutes on each side.

Whisk together vinegar, ginger, jalapeno and soy sauce. Once the eggplant and halibut are done drizzle this piping mixture.

Tip: Garnish cilantro right before you serve the dish.

 

Recipe 3: Olive Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

This dish won’t just satisfy your taste buds but will keep your gut health in check. If you’ve bulked ordered eggplant and now it’s lying in your refrigerator, this is what we suggest – roast them all!

 

All you need:

Eggplant cut into pieces

Pitted olives

Olive oil

Pasta (of choice)

Red wine vinegar (normal one will also do)

Salt

Pepper

Feta cheese

Cherry tomatoes

Chopped oregano leaves (for garnish)

Method:

Cook pasta until tender, meanwhile preheat oven to 475°F. Place eggplant slices, olives on a baking sheet. Brush them well with olive oil and let them roast for up to 18 minutes.

Whisk salt, pepper, vinegar, oregano leaves in a bowl and toss in some olive oil too.

In a big bowl, mix pasta, eggplant slices, scrambled feta cheese and chopped cherry tomatoes.

Tip:  You can throw in some last night’s leftover and make a fantastic meal.