Eggplants and the outdoor oven

Our eggplants are growing great, 3 weeks ago the plants began to flower now little fruits are appearing. I didn’t know that an eggplant is actually a very tender perennial grown as an annual. For that reason I hope we can save the plants for next year. The eggplant is a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family to it is akin to the potato, tomato as well as the tomatillo and chayote. Although the eggplant is used as a vegetable it is really a fruit. The English actually gave the fruit the name of “eggplant” referring one one varieties shape which was similar to an egg. In a large part of Europe the eggplant is referred to as an “aubergine” and Italy it is called melanzana.

As it is almost Ferragosto we’re busy planning a family evening around the fire pit with in addition the use of the outdoor wood oven. Next to some focaccie for sure grilled eggplant will be on the menu. This time I want to try the recipe below to see of it really will come off crispy brown on the outside, creamy sweet on the inside, and full of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 250 ml warm water
  • 2 liters of cold water
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • olive oil

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the 2 tablespoons of salt in 250 ml of warm water; stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Add 2 liters of cold water. Set aside.
  • Cut the eggplant into slices (either diagonal, crosswise, or lengthwise).
  • Place the slices in the salted water. Weigh them down with an upside-down plate, and let soak for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.
  • Drain the eggplant and pat it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Lay the slices on a large baking sheet or tray. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place the slices with the oiled side into the wood oven for about 5 minutes. Take out of the oven.
  • Brush the top sides of the slices with oil and sprinkle them with salt. Turn the slices over, back into the oven and cook until the eggplant is very tender; about 5 more minutes.

Recipe: thespruceeats.com

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