Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pistachio Crusted Eggplant Cutlets

Most of the time, I have eggplant hanging in the fridge waiting to be fried.  Yes, being the Italian I am, it's usually eggplant parmesan, eggplant rollitini or eggplant with basil whenever I think of the beautiful purple nightshade.  Did you know eggplant is categorized in the nightshade family?  Nightshade vegetables are potatoes, (not sweet potatoes) eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes plus a few others. It is also said that people with arthritis should avoid these foods.  Yikes, I am really in trouble since I now have arthritis in my thumbs and never in a million years could I give up these delicious vegetables with the exception of potatoes.  Just this past week I had eggplant, tomatoes and red peppers.

Even with this knowledge, I decided to make eggplant again!  In this months Vegetarian Times magazine, I found this recipe and it's a keeper.  At least the ladies agreed, but the men did not.  Don't let that stop you from trying this.  They definitely like the fried, greasy topped with loads of cheese version better - go figure.

The magazine talked about the fact that pistachios are low in saturated fat and high in mono and poly-unsaturated fats as well as fiber.  They have also shown to help lower LDL cholesterol and a rich source of phytosterols which keep arteries free of buildup.

I used this recipe as a side with our dinner outside on the lanai with our good friends but the recipe uses this as the main meal with added couscous, bulgur or rice pilaf.  How nice we get to eat dinner outside in February!  While I miss my family every single day, I love our new life in Naples.

Pistachio Crusted Eggplant Cutlets

1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
6 oz. oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 medium or 3 small eggplant (1 lb), peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 375 and coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
Blend pistachios in food processor until finely chopped and transfer to a plate.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and garlic to food processor and puree until smooth.

Brush olive oil on one side of each eggplant slice and place that side down on baking sheet.

Spread 2 tbs. of mixture on each eggplant slice and sprinkle with 1 tbs. ground pistachios.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and pistachio topping is browned and crispy.

With the men not liking this, I ended up with extra for the week and LOVED IT!  It's healthy, delicious whether you use as  the entree or a side.  Give it a try this week and let me know what you think...

Have a great week everyone and be nice to someone you love.  Happy Valentines Day!

Fino a quel momento


1 comment:

  1. Never knew about arthritis and eggplant. Still - not giving it up. I love finding a new way to prepare these lovely "cutlets." Using pistachios is perfect.