Every year, after Pesach, I try to cook healthier. When the kitchen is already empty, it’s the perfect time to pass over the junk when I’m restocking. I think, this will finally be the year when I stop buying white flour, white, sugar, cornflakes, and soy hot dogs and feed my children homemade veggie burgers, whole grains, and leafy greens. In reality, this transition is going slowly. When we restocked last week, the only white flour items we bought were pretzels and bread– whole wheat sandwiches sent with then kids just become parent supper. We bought cornflakes, but the kind that is 98% corn, not 86%. Baby steps.
I’m trying to introduce new vegetables to my kids in different forms, hoping something will catch on. Last week, I tried disguising eggplant as lasagna. At least they all tasted a bite before saying, “Can I have macaroni and cheese?”
One nice thing about hosting is that it’s an excuse for me to make foods that I like (vegetables) that some (all) of my immediate family won’t touch. After my high hopes for eggplant lasagna becoming a new family favorite were dashed, I was left with a big, beautiful eggplant, which I cooked and served on Shabbat. I recently saw a video demonstrating a method of baking eggplant that almost cubes it, with toppings stuffed in the cracks. The whole thing is wrapped in foil and baked until it’s spreadable. I used this method, with my own seasonings.
This garlic eggplant is delicious spread on challah, and the whole eggplant looks beautiful on the table.
Pull-Apart Roasted Garlic Eggplant Recipe
1 large eggplant
1 whole head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2-3 teaspoons dried oregano, basil, thyme, or other herbs of choice
Directions: (See pictures in post above.)
- Wash eggplant. Cut into one-inch/2cm cubes most of the way down, leaving the cubes attached at the bottom. You want the eggplant to stay whole. It will look somewhat like a checkerboard.
- Lay eggplant on a large piece of foil. Peel all the garlic, delegate a sous chef (This was my job as a kid.), or use about 12 cloves of pre-peeled garlic. Slice each clove into 2-3 pieces. Stuff the garlic into all the lines of the checkerboard.
- Put the eggplant, with the foil, into a loaf pan. Brrush with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and herbs of choice. I used oregano, basil, and thyme.
- Wrap foil tightly over eggplant, enclosing it completely. Bake at 350F/180C for about an hour, until soft.
- The baked eggplant should be soft and spreadable. Serve whole beside other spreads, like Poor Man’s Pesto and Sunny Avocado Salad.
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