Melanzane – Eggplants
Eggplants (Melanzana in Italian), is native to India. Although there are innumerable documents that demonstrate the cultivation of eggplant in the area of Southeast Asia since prehistoric times, it seems that in Europe it was unknown until the sixteenth century. The spread in Europe of names derived from Arabic and the lack of ancient Latin and Greek names indicate that it was brought to the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages.
Thank You Globalization!
In Europe, the main producers are Italy, Spain and Romania. It is eaten fried, baked or grilled; some typical preparations are: eggplant parmigiana, moussakà, ratatouille, pasta alla Norma and caponata.
It is with Sicilian cuisine that eggplants find their maximum expression. It is added to pizza, spaghetti, in pasta as with the Timballo, and simply to stuff—once fried—a fresh baked sandwich. Simple but delicious.
This dish is so popular that needs no introduction. But so many are doing it wrong.
The eggplants (the long and thin ones) are sliced quickly fried, but no need to add eggs, bread crumbs, and [horror!] milk.
The best recipe is the one from Jamie Oliver. Not even the great Martha Steward has it right.
Why adding eggs, bread crumbs, and whatever to an already rich dish? Keeping it simple will save you time in both, cooking and digesting! And takes away nothing to taste. Less is more in the kitchen too!
Also notable Cookie + Kate Eggplant Parmigiana
As noted by Jamie Oliver a great result is achieved also with Zucchini Parmigiana. Quite handy in summer when zucchini are so abundant that everyone with a garden wants to give you some!