What to cook this week: Eggplant Parmesan, pasta-less eggplant lasagna

No faux meat harmed in the making of this veg dish
This photo shows Thanksgiving eggplant strata in Concord, N.H. The deliciously creamy strata marries layers of roasted eggplant, squash and red cabbage with a rich bechamel sauce. AP Photo/Matthew Mead

What to cook this week” is a weekly series featuring recipes that use local, seasonal produce. Look for new ideas and recipes every Thursday.

It’s a vegetarian’s dream – hearty and substantial, a meat-substitute that can hold its own. But eggplant can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, vegetarian and otherwise.

Eggplant contains around 30 calories per 3.5 ounces – but be mindful of how you prepare it, as eggplant can suck up oil like crazy.

When buying, look for eggplant that’s firm to the touch with unwrinkled skin. Store it in your fridge’s crisper for up to a few days.

Many cooks prefer to salt and rinse their eggplant before cooking it, in order to reduce some of the vegetable’s bitterness. You can opt to brine the eggplant rather than salting it, which will help it keep its shape during the cooking process.

Story continues below advertisement

Try these recipes from Food Network Canada that feature eggplant.

An easy 2-step process to get more from veggies
This July 21, 2014 photo shows tangy tomato-eggplant crostini in Concord, N.H. Salting and draining the eggplants and tomatoes removes excess water, which not only makes for a meatier texture, it also concentrates the flavors. AP Photo/Matthew Mead

Sponsored content