CSA and Cooking Eggplant

I learned that, generally speaking, my CSA eggplant would absorb the flavors of whatever I cooked it with, similar to tofu or potatoes. I couldn't see what the fuss was over until I tried to stir-fry it and eat it alone - then I tasted the bitterness and understood. But I also learned that if you plan to eat it without cooking it into a dish, you can slice it thinly, salt it, and set it aside for 15 minutes first. The salt will draw out some of the juices in the eggplant and it will taste less bitter. Another lesson is that the raw eggplant doesn't keep long (a few days), so it has to be one of my first meals of the week.

These are our two favorite eggplant recipes.

Baked Eggplant Pasta – adapted from VegetarianMeat and Potatoes Cookbook
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium size onion
1 medium size eggplant
4 garlic cloves, minced
one 28-can crushed tomatoes
about a half cup of extra tomatoes of choice: chopped fresh tomatoes, or more canned tomatoes or tomato sauce
½ cup red cooking wine
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
salt and pepper
2 cups of rotini
½ cup
2 cups of any type of cheese (or more to taste)

Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook, stirring a few times until softened, about five minutes. Add the eggplant and garlic, cover and cook, stirring a few times, for five minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, parsley, basil and salt and pepper to taste and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bake pasta in another pot until just al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta with the sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Spoon into a large baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until hot and lightly browned on top, 30-40 minutes.

Eggplant Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Tomato
For the crust I use Jay's Signature Pizza Crust recipe. I often will substitute or cut the white flour with whole wheat flour. 
For the toppings, I use this recipe from Pioneer Woman.

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