Eggplants come in all sorts of shapes and shades, and they’re cropping up all over at Holoholo right now. They are botanically related to tomatoes and potatoes (who’da thunk?!) and are known as “aubergine” in the UK. You’ll mostly see the rounder ones (the ones that really look more egg-shaped; they’re common to Europe and North America) and the ones that are shaped like cucumbers (often called Japanese or Chinese) in the market.
Eggplants are a great choice for a meal plan base since so many different cultures use them in cooking and with such varied flavors, it won’t seem at all like you’re eating the same thing all week!
A grill and some eggplant.
Vegetarians and vegans really like eggplant, since it’s such a “meaty” vegetable. Chef Emily’s Grill-Blistered Eggplant with Lemon Tahini Sauce and Herbed Bulgur Wheat Salad riffs on the flavors of baba ghanoush, and treats the eggplant as the focus. Depending on how many people you’re serving—or you can make extra—you’ll have enough Bulgur Wheat Salad to serve as a weeknight side, or take for lunch.
And speaking of baba ghanoush, grill up a couple extra eggplants. If you have leftover Tahini Sauce, you can whirl it in a blender or food processor together with the extra eggplant (flesh only, no skin) for a quick dip. If you don’t have any leftover sauce, never fear—it’s an easy recipe, using all the same ingredients that you needed for the sauce.
Ratatouille is a super versatile dish—you can serve it as a vegetarian main, as a stewy sauce over pasta, or a side for a meat entrée. Heck, you could even spread it on toast for a hipster breakfast or lunch! It tastes great cool or hot, and since it’s stewed, it’s a good way to use veggies that maybe aren’t so pretty looking or a wee bit past their prime.
However, it IS a stew, and needs about an hour to achieve the right level of doneness, so best tackle this project on the weekend and make a big batch that can be used in various ways throughout the week.
This Sweet & Sour Fish by local chef Will Chen, featured in edible Hawaiian Islands magazine, is a nice, quick and easy choice for a weeknight. He uses ono, but you could substitute any firm, white fish that you like. Bok choy pops up in our CSA bags fairly regularly, too.
Eggplant Parmesan hits all those crave spots: salty, crunchy, gooey…yum! This recipe from Gimme Some Oven is nice because instead of frying the eggplant, you oven-bake it. Yes, you’ll have to double bake (once to make the crunchy eggplant rounds, and again for the melty cheese goodness), but it’s healthier, less messy and takes roughly the same amount of time as frying. Besides, while the eggplant bakes, you can do other things, like assemble a salad or taste-test the wine.