What am I supposed to do with those Indian Eggplant?
So…you know how you go to your local produce store and you see those cute little Indian Eggplant and you’re like “What am I supposed to do with these adorable eggplants?”
They are too small for lasagna.
They are too small to cut up into cubes and sauté, unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
I’m here to help!
Sometimes it helps to be creative
Indian Eggplants are most excellent to roast with tomatoes, onions, basil and a little oil. I make them for Shabbat all the time and Dear Daughter-In-Law particularly loves them, as do I.
I wanted to do something a little more visually attractive and creative for Shavuot. Shavuot is a holiday that celebrates harvest and spring/summer. We decorate with flowers and greenery. I looked at those little eggplant and thought that they would make fabulous little purple flowers.
Have you ever seen a radish rose?
Have you ever seen those decorative vegetable trays that caterers make? They almost always have decorative radishes on them that are cut into flowers. Sometimes you also see strawberries that are cut to look like flowers too.
It’s not that hard to do.
Basically, you need a sharp paring knife to make concentric cuts around the radish. Cutco even has a video to show you how to do it. Here’s a link to the page.
You can also make an Indian Eggplant flower
It wasn’t such a stretch to take the radish rose premise and extend it to Indian Eggplants. I cut off the stem to make a flower base and then used the same steps that are used to make radish flowers on the eggplant.
This is what it looks like when it’s done.
The whole dish needed more…stuff
Now I had the incredible looking eggplant flowers. I tested two by cooking them in the microwave to see what would happen when they were cooked. I had hoped that they would open up a little when they softened by cooking. They did! Woot.
There were these charming Indian Eggplant flowers sitting in a bowl looking all lonely. I decided to give them what they needed. Tomatoes, green onions (I’m off of yellow onions and garlic for now), lots of basil, and vegan cheese (I’m also off of dairy).
Then the display
I layered all these savory, flavorful ingredients in a round casserole then placed the delightful eggplant flowers on top.
When I make roasted eggplant, I normally bake them for 45 minutes covered and 45 minutes uncovered. This allows the eggplant to cook all the way through and then to caramelize a little after uncovered.
If you don’t have the time…
If you don’t have the time to cut all the eggplant into flowers (it really didn’t take that long), then you can cut them in half or trim off the stem for a base and just make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts along the top to open up the eggplant.
Here’s the recipe:Print
Cute little Indian Eggplant can be cut into beautiful flower shapes then roasted with savory tomato and basil for a gorgeous healthy dish. I use vegan cheese but you can use your favorite dairy cheese with this dish as well.
For the eggplant
- 24 Indian Eggplants
For the base
- Nonstick vegetable spray
- 1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup green onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup basil, sliced
- 1 cup mozzarella, vegan or dairy
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the eggplant
- Cut the stem off of each eggplant. Each eggplant should be able to stand on the cut base.
- Using a sharp paring knife, make slits around the eggplant going from the outside inward, offsetting each cut. When done the eggplant should look like a closed flower.
- Set the eggplant aside.
For the base
- Spray a round or oval casserole with non-stick spray.
- Spread the tomatoes over the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with the basil, then green onion, then the mozzarella.
- Place the cut eggplant in concentric circles on top of the mozzarella.
- Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the eggplant, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes covered.
- Uncover the casserole and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- You can use vegan or dairy cheese for this dish.
- I sometimes spray the tops of the eggplant with non-stick spray to give them a little extra moisture.
- You can make this dish in advance, then rewarm it in the oven uncovered at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.
- If you don’t have time to make the flowers, you can “deconstruct” this dish. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise, then place them on a lined, greased baking sheet or casserole. Top with the tomatoes, basil and green onions. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil then cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Top with the cheese then bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
- I use my “Hindy Choppper” a.k.a Vidalia onion chopper to chop my tomatoes super quickly.
- Serving Size: 3 eggplant
- Calories: 118
- Sugar: 5.4 g
- Sodium: 110.6 mg
- Fat: 7.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 9.1 g
- Protein: 6.1 g
- Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Keywords: Indian Eggplant, Vegan, Kosher, Plant Based
Looking for more Shavuot Recipes?
Here are some of my favorites!
- Savory Instant Pot Chive Cheesecake (you can make it in the oven too!)
- Riced Broccoli Crepes with Mushroom Cream Filling
- Asparagus Basketweave Quiche
- Almond Cream Cheesecake
- Miso Soup with Bok Choy
- Low-fat Smoked Salmon Alfredo with Fresh Gluten Free Spinach Pasta
Still looking for even more great Shavuot recipes? Click on the image!
What are you making for Shavuot? I’d love to hear from you!
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