People laugh at me because I have food rules. In case you're blissfully unaware of them, allow me to give you a good laugh:
1. No peppers. I'm allergic. So this one isn't funny.
2. No fungus. I'll cook them for mushroom lovers in my house, sometimes, but I don't eat fungus.
3. Food segregation. My food can't be mixed, and really shouldn't touch.
4. No roots, except orange ones. I'll cook with onions, but pick them out of my food, and I don't like potatoes. Again, I'll cook them for my family, but I'm not a fan.
5. No purple food! Everyone else can have grape jam, and I've even made it, but I don't eat purple food.
So, imagine my surprise and horror when my farmer brought me not one, but TWO, eggplants.
Ryan's "How to fix food" book suggests that eggplant can be fixed by encasing it in concrete and dropping it in the East River. OK with me, because it's purple food, but it was in my house and needed something done with it, and the East River is about 100 miles away. So off to my cookbooks I went for suggestions. I have forgotten exactly where I found this, but I believe it was either Craig Claiborne or Fannie Farmer.
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup melted butter
salt & pepper to taste
Boil the eggplant in a large pot for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut it in half lengthwise and carefully scoop all of the meaty center out without breaking the shell (and good luck with that!) Coarsely chop all of the eggplant, including the seeds, and stir in with the rest of the ingredients. Place the eggplant shells in a greased, curved baking dish, which will support the shell while it's cooking, re-stuff the eggplant shell with the eggplant/breadcrumb mix, and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, until it's lightly browned on the outside.
So, I wrecked one of my 2 shells. And the eggplant looked most unappetizing. So I grated some extra sharp cheddar cheese over the top before serving it. At least the cheese looked pretty.
As for the eggplant? Well, the best review I got for it was, "It has no flavor." The next day, my daughter's Italian friend was here, gooing that she loves eggplant. When she wasn't looking, I put the second one in her purse. Good thing the girls these days carry big honkin' purses.
So, my final word? In defense of eggplant, it is a very pretty vegetable, second to none. However, I still don't like purple food. Christo, I know you're out there laughing at me!