It’s fairytale time.

Fairtytale eggplant and San Marzano tomato.

Last summer I briefly spoke about Fairytale eggplant when I made the Food in Jars’ recipe for it, pickled. However, at the time I couldn’t find Fairytale eggplant so I had to use Sicilian eggplant. Before that, I had only made melanzane sott’olio using regular large white eggplant (and I made it with a Black Beauty eggplant once as well, albeit with more salting & draining, since darker eggplants are more bitter).

It wasn’t until this year when I started to grow my own that I realized how tiny Fairytale eggplant is! They’re only a few inches long fully grown. However, there are benefits to them other than their container-friendly growth & tiny cuteness; they’re inherently less bitter, don’t need to be peeled before eating, have less seeds inside and have a creamier, sweeter flavor than their giant counterparts. Sold me!

However I still don’t like eggplant. Oh well. Womp, womp, womp.

Side note: did you know eggplant is a fruit? Yep. Actually it’s a berry.

So anyway, I needed to make an eggplant dish, and before I pickled some of ’em up in olive oil, I thought I’d try something different. This is a very simple, very brainless recipe idea. You can swap out different parts and substitute others- for example, adding mint and removing the garlic, using feta instead of ricotta, etc.

Grilled Fairytale eggplant with San Marzano tomato, garlic olive oil, rosemary and; parsley. Topped with some fresh ricotta cheese.

GRILLED FAIRYTALE EGGPLANT with TOMATO, GARLIC & ROSEMARY

Ingredients:

  • 1 large/average size (or 2 smaller) Fairytale eggplants
  • 1 or two tomatoes (I used San Marzano that weren’t fully ripened)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus some sprigs for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Toast the garlic &  2 teaspoons chopped rosemary in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the garlic is lightly browned, turn off heat and pour into heatproof bowl. Do not let the garlic get too dark!
  2. Wash the eggplant and slice it lengthwise. You don’t want SUPER thin slices, but you don’t want them too thick either. Remember, we’re talking about Fairytale eggplants; they’re very small, about 5-6 inches long. If you’re using a different kind of eggplant, you’ll have to cut them down much smaller/thinner & possibly soak them & peel them first. I left the calyx on for decorative purposes, feel free to remove it.
  3. Meanwhile, heat up the grill or grill pan.
  4. When the grill is ready, brush the eggplant with a little of the garlic olive oil on both sides.
  5. Then place the eggplant on the grill. You’re looking for grill marks, so when one side has them, flip ’em over. As you finish grilling the eggplant, place them on a serving plate. Flash-grill the tomatoes, don’t let ’em get too soft & mushy. Place them around the eggplants.
  6. Top with fresh ricotta & chopped parsley. Drizzle with the remainder of the garlic olive oil and serve, garnished with rosemary if desired.

Grilled Fairytale eggplant with San Marzano tomato, garlic olive oil, rosemary and parsley. Topped with some fresh ricotta cheese.

Lemme just say- HOLY COLORS, BATMAN. This is definitely what they mean when they say, “eat the rainbow.”

This is a good way to use up those giant crops of eggplant a lot of you may get stuck with. Makes a great side dish or even a vegetarian main dish! You could also use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, and you wouldn’t even have to cut them. It’s basically the perfect use-up-everything-that’s-still-growing-in-the-garden dish. Throw anything in there! Peppers, tomatoes, eggplants.. whatever you’ve got.

Plus, it’s just perfect for those hazy, hot & humid early September days.

Soundtrack: Nat King Cole – “Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer”
Sources & credits: My garden!
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