This years Summer Fest is kicking off with a celebration of all things Eggplant and I couldn’t be more excited! My love for eggplant start a few years ago with Eggplant Parmesan, I mean really, who doesn’t love anything smothered with mozzarella cheese? And has since grown into an absolute obsession with all things eggplant! Strolling through the Santa Monica’s farmers market one can see how many different kinds of eggplant there are! White Eggplant, Baby Eggplant, the stripy purple and white eggplant called Rosa Bianca… and my personal favorite, the Japanese Eggplant. They happen to have a thinner skin and sweeter flavor and I love ‘em.
This past weekend I picked up a few slender Japanese Eggplants from the farmers market and decided to make Eggplant Chips! I thinly sliced the eggplants, making sure to keep the skin in tact, because I like the color! You can easily take the skin off if it’s not your thing. Then I liberally salted them and let them sit for an hour or so to get some of the water out….
I then brushed them with a paprika and garlic infused olive oil, and baked these for about 30 minutes until they were just slightly crisp but not yet burnt. And to compliment the Eggplant Chips, I made a Cashew and Cilantro Pesto! The pesto can easily be adapted if you would rather use pine nuts or another favorite nut, but cashews happen to be my most recent obsession. I eat bagfuls by the day. I can’t believe I went 25 years without eating Cashews – I’ve gotta make up for lost time!
And be sure to check out what all the other Summer Fest participants are making in celebration of Eggplant:
Big Apple Nosh: Baba Ganoush
FN Dish: Grilled Eggplant Recipes
Taste With The Eyes: Indian Eggplant, Lemon Confit, Garlic and Thai Basil
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Grilled Marinated Eggplant Sandwiches
Sassy Radish: Eggplant Caviar
The Little Kitchen: Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna
Tags: arab cuisine, baked eggplant, Cilantro, cilantro pesto, condiments, cuisine, eggplant, eggplant chips, eggplant parmesan, eggplant salads and appetizers, egyptian cuisine, food and drink, grilled eggplant, indian cuisine, japanese eggplant, middle eastern cuisine, parmigiana, Pesto, pesto dip, white eggplant