I love New England in the fall! I love New England in the fall!
Along with the crisp air, turning leaves & hot apple cider, much of the loveliness is the gardens. Mine has been painfully neglected this year, yet due to soil that a DC friend referred to as “black gold,” our garden keeps on giving. Tomato plants sprouted up from compost after my zucchini died in a summer heat wave. My basil just gives and gives and gives. And my eggplants- oh, my beautiful eggplants! They showed little sign of growth this summer, but in mid-August we noticed some buds, which eventually became large, gorgeous fruits and lots of them. My roots being what they are, there was only one thing to do with the beauty that my son picked today after school: fried eggplant. He also grabbed a tomato, a pepper, and some basil; we’re clearly trying to train him right.
“But I thought frying is bad”, you might be thinking. But like so many, many things in life- it depends. Fried food in restaurants are most often fried in vegetable oil, which is rancid and usually very old. Vegetable oil is also linked to a wide range of diseases. I’ve known some places to fry in olive oil, but that just gets you a big vat of carcinogens since olive oil is very unstable and oxidizes at high heats.
So, what did I fry my eggplant in? Lard. Yes, you read that correctly. Lard from happy pigs that lived on a real, sustainable farm in Vermont. Animal fats from healthy animals (not CAFO animals) is an excellent source of essential vitamins & minerals, including much sought-after Vitamin D. Lard is also an extremely stable fat that does well with frying.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 beautiful eggplant
- a bowl with flour, salt, pepper & parsley to taste. I used this sprouted flour. You can also add grated cheese to the flour mixture.
- 1 bowl with two eggs, beaten. Add salt & pepper to taste
- a tablespoon of lard before every batch goes into the pan
- cast-iron saute pan
Slice the eggplant. Then take a slice and cover both sides in flour mixture. Next, dip into the egg so that the whole slice is covered. Put the slice into a hot saute pan with lard and fry on each side until done, roughly 5 minutes each side. Repeat with every slice. Do keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from pan and put onto paper towel to drain. Serve with basil, tomato, fried peppers, mozzarella cheese, or even put on a sandwich. To turn this into eggplant parmigiana, simply add a tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese.
Real food from my real garden. Yum.