What may typically be an underrated fruit (that is often mistaken as a vegetable), eggplants can be a great asset to a meal when paired with a range of ingredients and flavours. They are also ideal for households with vegetarians as they can be a key staple for many recipes.
A perfect dish are the Grilled Eggplant Pizzas by 5+ A Day. An alternative take on a classic meal, these eggplant pizzas are not only delicious but are also a source of fibre.
Be sure to store your eggplants out of direct sunlight, in a relatively cool spot such as a pantry. If your kitchen gets hot and humid, then wrap your eggplants in paper towels and store them in the Humidity Drawer of your refrigerator. This will ensure they are kept fresher for longer.
Serves: 5 or 6 as a main
Preparation: 5 minutes (allowing 30 minutes for water to draw out)
Cooking: 35 minutes
5 eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
3 fresh thyme sprigs, stems discarded and leaves chopped
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped (optional)
Pizza sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 handful of mozzarella cheese (or cheese of your choice)
Salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 200°C on grill.
Slice eggplants lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes (or until moisture draws out). Wipe with a paper towel to remove both the moisture and salt.
Mix pizza sauce with basil, chilli and thyme leaves.
Spray both sides of the eggplants with olive oil. Put cut-side down in a baking dish and grill for about 15 minutes or until soft on the grilled side, turn over and repeat until softened and cut side is golden.
Take out of the oven and spread with pizza sauce mixture, top with cheese and cracked pepper, return to grill for about 5 minutes or until cheese is just golden.
Serve with a crisp green salad.