I've never really liked eggplants, or l'aubergine, as our French friends would call them. Purple has always been one of my favorite colors, but the vegetable? Non.
I decided to give it a second try one night a few weeks ago, when a friend gave me a few small eggplants from her garden. I couldn't let good garden food go to waste, could I? And I did accept them, after all. It's not like she forced them into my fisted palms. Although my brain was saying, "Are you sure?"
I wanted to give them a fair trial, so I decided to let them shine in a classic eggplant-centric dish: Eggplant Parmigiana. There are hundreds of recipes out there, but I only had a few key ingredients on hand, so I made up my own.
I breaded and baked the eggplant slices while making a homemade meat sauce. The meat sauce was delicious! I'm easy to please when it comes to beef.
After the eggplant had baked a bit, I layered them lasagna-style with the meat sauce and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and let it bake some more. It looked great, but sadly the sauce wasn't enough to conceal the other flavors.
I still don't like eggplant.