Eggplant

Eggplant – The Barney of the Vegetable World!

I watched my nieces and nephews enjoy the Barney series, where a big purple dinosaur was a friend to everyone. Eggplant not only resembles Barney, but is a friend to every ingredient it shares the spotlight with. I have been harvesting from my 2 plants for weeks and love the versatility it gives me in the kitchen. I have roasted it, grilled it, fried it and stir-fried it, with rave results each time from my husband who mentioned when it was planted, “I don’t like eggplant!”

Last night, I had my usual eggplant harvest, along with a boatload of ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh garlic from a friend. I just decided to make a simple one pan pasta topping that is now going to be a regular dinner for the rest of the season. It’s quick and tastes like summer!

 Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

1 pound pasta of your choice
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4  teaspoon black pepper
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Chopped fresh parsley  

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of boiling water with 1 teaspoon of salt added. Meanwhile, place the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the eggplant, remaining salt, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and heat thoroughly. Drain the pasta and drizzle with additional oil. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the eggplant mixture. Garnish with the Parmesan and parsley and serve immediately.

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