Cooks Corner: Suprise! Eggplant is good

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008

By Staff
A wonderful cook and all-around nice lady called me last week to tell me about eggplant. The vegetable isn't anything new, but Peggy Bracken took the time to remind me about a vegetable I had all but forgotten existed.
The vegetable is best known around these parts as a large, purple object that many people don't understand or like. But when Mrs. Bracken brought up the subject of eggplant, I began to do a little research on the vegetable and how it can best be used.
When I was a child, we always had five or six eggplant bushes in our garden. Mostly, my mom simply cut the vegetable into circles or French fries, rolled them in cornmeal and deep-fried them until golden brown. They were wonderful.
I even remember one time when my mother ventured away from the ordinary and tried an eggplant parmesan recipe someone had passed along to her. I didn't like it too much, but I didn't tell her.
There are several varieties of eggplant from the more common large, purple variety to a white variety and even a long, tubular variety. I haven't tried all of these varieties, but rest assure, they are all eggplants.
When Mrs. Bracken called, she suggested I print some recipes for eggplant. According to her, the eggplant is very misunderstood and underused. Since that is apparently the case, I've decided to pass along recipes for eggplant that don't require a deep fryer. Some may be more kid-friendly than others. You may even find one that could be classified as exotic.
The cheese on this first recipe would probably make it kid-friendly. It sounds like an easy recipe and one that can be done as a quick side dish for any meal.
Eggplant Delight
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and saut

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