For this month, I present a series of four videos, featuring a food beginning with W, I, S, E. I say a few things about the food I’ve selected, give a recipe link, and then some sources for you to follow up with! For more, see:

Let’s look at “E.” I’m going with “Eggplant.” You really need the right temperature and light conditions (think: a lot) to grow eggplant. It easily could be one of the vegetables (similar to tomatoes, peppers) that you need to import—or create some beautifully wild, hot permaculture environment for. I love eggplant, although the way I was taught how to cook it does involve a lot of vegetable oil.

A favorite recipe of mine is from some of our Italian cooking classes in Florence. Chef Francesco (from Chefactory) is a whiz at eggplant appetizers, using: 1 eggplant (medium to slightly large) 1 fresh mozzarella (I believe this is usually a ball….if you can’t find this “ball,” punt: shredded mozzarella, but then you can also use any cheese) 2 round tomatoes (average size) 2 tablespoons of grated cheese (Parmesan cheese if you have it) Basil leaves (alternatively oregano or parsley) (dried or fresh (but already cut)) Salt, pepper and olive oil.

Now, get creative: slice the eggplant, mozzarella, and tomatoes, and layer! Start with the eggplant on the bottom. I usually use three layers. Eggplant-tomato-mozzarella+eggplant-tomato-mozzarella + eggplant-tomato-mozzarella. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, oil, seasonings and add a basil leaf or two on top.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 min or until cooked.

Have to include this, best eggplant recipes from around the world:

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