This easy sautéed eggplant recipe is from the Campania region of Italy where it is called melanzane a funghetto. Melanzane is the Italian word for eggplant, and funghetto is a term for mushrooms. There are no mushrooms in this dish, but the sautéed eggplant does look something like mushrooms when cooked.
Don’t be intimidated by the fancy name, though. This easy eggplant recipe will also allow you to use fresh and healthy eggplants and cherry tomatoes grown in your home garden! You can serve it as a side dish or mix it with protein. It also makes a wonderful, healthy lunch all by itself. and it will allow you to use the eggplants, cherry tomatoes, parsley and basil you grow at home.
Prep Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 20 Minutes. Ready in: approx. 50 Minutes
Serves 2-3 people
- 1lb of eggplant
- ½ lb of tomatoes
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- A couple basil leaves
- A branch or two of finely chopped parsley
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper
Start by cutting your eggplant into small cubes, about ½” each in size. Salt them lightly and place them in a colander for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture and prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil when cooking. After 30 minutes, wrap your eggplant cubes in a paper towel and squeeze them gently to remove excess moisture.
Chop garlic and cut your cherry tomatoes in half or quarter sections and place them aside.
Now, add your eggplant into a pan with oil, and cook them for ~15-minutes over moderate heat so as not to burn them. Your eggplant will become tender and slightly browned when it is done. Remove the eggplants and consider placing them in a colander or on a plate with napkin to absorb excess oil.
Add your cherry tomatoes and garlic to the same pan with pepper for taste and sauté for another 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to release their flavor and juices, while taking on the garlic flavor.
Add your eggplants into the pan and cook together for another 2-3 minutes. Throw in some basil to bring out even more of that delicious, Italian flavor.
Add a protein like chicken or fish if you’d like, or keep it vegetarian.
That’s it. You’ve just cooked a delicious, healthy Italian meal that you grew yourself. Aren’t you impressive!