Eggplant! One of the most under-utilized veggies, in our opinion. And because it is so under-utilized, many timid, aspiring veggie adventurers/home-cooked meal connoisseurs are under the impression that eggplant is shrouded in mystery and therefore should be avoided! This is absolutely NOT the case!
Eggplant is delicious and super versatile. It’s spongy meatiness soaks up flavors with ease and provides a subtle creaminess that gives its dishes extra depth. Get on the eggplant train, y’all, you won’t regret it!
Check out how the Finca community prepares their eggplant!
Victoria’s Roasted Eggplant
“I was one of the people who was NOT a fan of eggplant, and so I experimented with ways that make it more appealing to me. This was so quick, easy, and SO GOOD.
Yes, I am now a fan of eggplant!”
Finca Eggplant (Victoria used our Asian variety)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
A pinch of Finca moringa leaves
A pinch of cumin
A pinch of coriander
A pinch of garlic powder
Sea salt to taste
Feta cheese to finish
Finca Thai Basil to finish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice your eggplant down the middle if using our Asian variety or in quarters if using the Italian variety. Score the flesh of the eggplant (for better absorption of spices!). Pour olive oil on a baking sheet/dish big enough to fit your eggplant. Add moringa leaves and all spices to dish and mix in with olive oil. Place eggplant flesh-side down into the mixture.
Place into the oven and roast for 13min. Flip eggplant and sprinkle with sea salt and roast again for another 12min.
Remove from the oven and plate. Drizzle eggplant with more olive oil, squeeze with desired amount of lemon juice, and sprinkle with Thai basil and feta. Enjoy!
Eggplant Tart with Goat Cheese, Honey, and Nigella
“I wanted to highlight all the different colors and textures of the eggplant varieties I picked up at the farm. Using a Sohla el-Waylly recipe as my base, I turned to Provence for my flavors, combining thyme, onion, eggplant and gruyere for a summery tart that’s perfect for a special lunch or a light dinner.”
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (1 full box), thawed
All purpose flour for dusting
Good olive oil
½ sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded gruyere
3 sprigs thyme, stripped
4 small Finca eggplants, mixed varieties if you like
*If you’d like to use Asian eggplant, only use one and don’t pre-roast with the others. The thinner skins change the cooking time.
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Finca basil to finish
Cut eggplant into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and toss with about 1 tbs kosher salt. Place in a colander set over a bowl or sink and allow to drain for at least 30 minutes. This will help keep your tart crisp, as it gets rid of the eggplants’ excess moisture.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400* and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut one extra sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, place the two sheets of pastry on top of one another and roll out until it’s just big enough to fit the sheet tray (about 11 x 15 inches), dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Lay it out onto one of the parchment-lined sheet trays and top with the extra sheet of parchment paper.
Rinse the eggplant to get rid of excess salt and blot dry on paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel. If you are using any Asian eggplant, set aside. Line up the rest of the eggplant slices on one half of the remaining sheet tray. Line up the onion slices on the other half. Season with a generous amount of olive oil, thyme leaves, a few big pinches of kosher salt, and a couple cranks of fresh black pepper.
Top the baking sheet with the puff pastry with the eggplant-and-onion-filled baking sheet to keep the pastry weighed down as it bakes. Place in the preheated oven to bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
After the first bake, remove both trays from the oven. Increase oven temperature to 500*. Sprinkle the shredded gruyere all over the pastry, then, using a spatula, shingle the onion and eggplant on top of the cheese. If you’re using Asian eggplant, arrange the slices on top. Sprinkle with parmesan, and drizzle with more olive oil. Return tart to oven and bake until pastry is a deep golden brown, about 15 more minutes.
Finish tart with fresh basil, cut and serve warm.
Jess’s (Almost Too) Easy Eggplant Parm-ish Dish
I needed a super easy meal this week and I happened to already have some leftover spicy tomato sauce and some incredible fresh mozzarella from our cheese Gods over at Houston Dairymaids. The result was an almost too easy eggplant parm-ish/lasagna-esque delight!
Finca Eggplant (any type will do!)
Tomato Sauce of Choice
Fresh Houston Dairymaids Mozzarella
Finca Basil to finish
Optional: Parmesan cheese to finish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice your eggplant so that they are in round slices about half an inch thick. Lay them out in a baking dish large enough to accommodate, then sprinkle with salt and lay a paper towel or dish cloth over your slices and let stand for 15-20min or until your eggplant is ‘sweating profusely’.
Pat your slices with your towel until dry, then spoon your tomato sauce over the slices and smooth over. Your eggplant should still be visible through your tomato sauce.
Place slices of fresh mozzarella over sauce and put in the oven for 25-30min.
When there are 2min left on your timer, turn on your broiler so that your cheese browns slightly.
Remove from the oven and allow dish to cool for at least 20min. Plate, add some chopped basil and parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Optional: try on top of pasta or sautéed greens!