To ease myself back into the swing of things after the holidays, I'll be making something simple with these delightful specimens.
Japanese eggplants are the variety of slender, deep purple hued eggplants. They do tend to have a thinner skin and a sweeter taste when compared to their larger relatives.
Eggplants are high in soluble fibre which is helpful in lowering cholesterol and they also contain a phytochemical called monoterpene that could be useful in preventing the growth of cancer cells.
It should be noted that the eggplant is a member of the deadly nightshade family, however the toxins are contained in the fruit before maturity and in the plants stems and leaves.
For the recipe this week I'm combining the eggplants with chermoula and Gemello to create a tasty little nibble.
[Makes as many as you like]
Chermoula - I used the more basic version found here
Gemello - or your favourite soft cheese
Slice the eggplants into discs about 2cm/1 inch thick. Toss in a little olive oil and season with freshly ground salt.
Heat up a non-stick frypan and slowly sauté the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides. Be careful not to overcook as you don't want them to become mushy. Drain on paper towels.
You can make these warm or cold, it's up to you.
Spoon a little chermoula onto each eggplant disc, top with a piece of Gemello and they are ready to serve.
I said they were simple but they offer up a variety of tastes and textures in every mouthful. A perfect companion to a cool glass of Sangria or an ice-cold beer.