Made him a believer

11 Oct

Michael has never been a fan of eggplant. I’ve cooked it maybe twice in our 14 years together, and last summer he tried some he deemed “acceptable” while attending a wedding. This spring, Halia planted an eggplant at her dayhome, and it was duly transplanted into the greenhouse. It didn’t survive transplantation, but Michael planted a new one on the sly.

I harvested that one eggplant — with some injury to my fingers, because did you know that eggplants grow gigantic spikes?? — just before our trip to Ottawa and brought it all the way to Ontario with me so that we could cook it there and eat it together.

That eggplant is still sitting in my mother-in-law’s fridge. Or perhaps it joined the rest of the Thanksgiving scraps in the compost bin. Poor eggplant, so arduously cared-for all summer long. The whole saga is so distressing, I had to buy an eggplant when I did my big homecoming grocery shopping on Tuesday morning.

Today, I cooked the darn thing. And it was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that Michael proclaimed it something he would happily eat frequently. I do have my doubts about just how nutritious it is, being so fried and salted. But it’s delicious. And easy, too.

Oops, we ate them up so fast, there are none left to photograph. Here’s, uh, the pan I fried them in.

Gluten-Free Vegan Battered and Fried Eggplant


  • 1 eggplant, any size you wish
  • salt
  • cornstarch
  • corn flour
  • coconut oil, or other oil of your choice for frying


  • Wash, peel, and cut eggplant into 1 cm slices. You can remove the peel entirely or peel it in “strips” to leave a bit of the purple on the outside edge.
  • Generously salt the eggplant and set it in a colander for an hour. Salting the eggplant draws out the bitterness and also removes excess moisture that can cause the eggplant to be soggy when cooked.
  • After salting is done, rinse the excess salt off and use two hands to squeeze each slice to remove excess moisture.
  • Start heating your oil in a pan. I used coconut oil and had it about 0.5 cm deep, so a good thick layer of oil.
  • Toss slices in a bowl to give them a coat of cornstarch. Make sure both sides are coated.
  • Dip each slice into a bowl of water, then coat each side in corn flour.
  • Fry 4-5 slices at a time in hot oil, letting each side turn golden before flipping. Don’t crowd the pan!
  • Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Let them cool a bit, and then enjoy! Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside!

Michael now believes in the deliciousness of eggplant.

7 Responses to “Made him a believer”

  1. Opa October 11, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    My goodness – after this saga, I just had to check out Wiki on the subject, and I learned so many new things I never knew. For instance, that eggplants are related to tobacco. But also to tomatoes. And since two objects, which are identical to a third, are also identical to one another, this would mean that tomatoes (and potatoes) for that matter, are related to tobacco. If smoking hadn’t been shown to be so detrimental to your health, I would consider starting an enterprise making cigars out of eggplants. Or tomatoes. Or potatoes. Coming to think of it, as kids we used to cook potatoes in a dried potato weed fire – and does that ever smoke!

    If you want a real yummy recipie for garlic eggplants, ask your mother. That’s one of her specialties.

  2. Catherine Forest October 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Oh Yum! Thanks for the gluten-free vegan recipe! I looooved those in Italy dipped in eggs and then breadcrumbs and parmesan and cooked in butter… Now I will try this!

  3. Marian October 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    You’ll be very happy to learn that the eggplant did not go into the compost! When I realized you’d left it behind, I decided I should do something with it. I’d had fried eggplant in Turkey and really liked it, so I made this:
    It’s not gluten free, but it seems as though we were on the same page!

    • fawnfritzen374499907 October 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Oh, I’m so glad that someone got to enjoy it after we nurtured it all summer! That was one of the recipes I used as inspiration, in fact. I missed the last part about lemon wedges — that would be fantastic! Mmmmm. Must buy more eggplant.

  4. Captain Momma October 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Thanks Fawn!!! I was in the same boat as Michael and had recently tried eggplant and had thrown it all out upon one taste of it. But I had no idea you had to salt and drain it. Now I am really going to try it!

    Glad the poor eggplant that travelled the country finally got eaten! LOL.


  5. Uncle Al February 19, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    OK, coming a little late to this thread, but I have to add grilled eggplant to the list. Diana usually does the prep and I finish off on the bbq, This is a favourite of ours all year round:

    Peel and cut eggplant into 1/2cm slices.
    Lightly salt both sides of each slice
    lay out slices on cookie sheet for ~1hr: this process releases a liquid that also removes some bitterness. Discard the liquid
    Lightly oil the slices
    Preheat bbq on high
    Place slices directly onto clean bbq racks. Turn after 2-3 mins and finish for 1-2 minutes
    Delicious hod or cold


    • fawnfritzen374499907 February 19, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Thanks, Alex! We’ll give that a try sometime for sure! 😀 Mmmm, barbeque

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