No, eggplant is not currently in season in California. But I'm out of veggies from last week's CSA box and a walk past the shiny purple plants at the grocery store (plus the fact that it's been months since I've had one) was more than I could pass up today. Pair it with some marinara and cheese for a super tasty (and easy to make) main dish. Here's what I did:
1 medium eggplant, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
2 c. marinara sauce
8 oz. mozzarella, grated
1/4 c. parmesan, grated
Pan fry eggplant in olive oil over medium heat until tender, 2-3 minutes per side. Depending on the size of the pan (and the eggplant), you'll probably have to do this in a couple of batches.
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with marinara sauce (I'll post a recipe soon - for tonight's weeknight version, I used pre-made). Layer eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella, finishing with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
Tonight, I paired the eggplant with a spinach salad. It probably should have been enough for 3-4 servings, but it tasted so good that we ate every bit of it! Hopefully that will hold us over a few months until we can get some fresh eggplant from the local farmers market!