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Purple Power: Eggplant, Hatch Chile and Roasted Tomatoes

Eggplant and Hatch Chile with Roasted Tomatoes-7648

Eat the colors of the rainbow, super foods are not limited to green, yellow, orange, and red. But also, the cooler colors of the rainbow: blue and purple. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and the same compounds that put blueberries on the healthy map as a superfood are what make make purple vegetables like eggplant potential immune boosters and disease fighters, too.

The dark pigments responsible for the purplish tones are called anthocyanins, a type of phytonutrient that is gaining attention from scientists worldwide.  Studies suggest that anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Some evidence indicates these purple pigments might also protect our brains as we age. {Source: Nutrition Unplugged.}

Grafitti Eggplant, Indian Eggplant

Did you know that eggplants, even though they’re treated more like a vegetable in the culinary world, are actually a fruit? You remember the botanical difference between a fruit and vegetable, right? The difference is that fruits are the seed bearing structure that develops from a flowering plant and vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. By those standards, seedy outgrowths such as apples, squash and, yes, tomatoes are all fruits while roots such as beets, potatoes and turnips, leaves such as spinach, kale and lettuce, and stems such as celery and broccoli are all vegetables.

Eggplant and Hatch Chile with Roasted Tomatoes
Today’s subject: the eggplant is actually a member of the berry family. That’s one mega berry! I’m a lover of this smooth, curvaceous purple orb of goodness, but I have come across eaters who are not. My daughter was one of them, until she lived in Japan for a semester abroad and found eggplant to be a regular part of the Japanese diet.

Frieda’s Produce has declared 2013 The Year of Purple and sent me a box of Graffiti and Indian eggplants along with black garlic and champagne grapes to play with in the kitchen. Graffiti eggplants are purple with beautiful white striping. This variety of eggplant originated in the Mediterranean, and are now grown in Holland. Besides its stunning beauty, the best part of a Graffiti eggplant is it is entirely edible, except for the green cap and stem. Its skin is thinner than the common globe eggplant and doesn’t require peeling or salting to draw out bitterness. This make it soooo easy to cook with!

Eggplant with Hatch Chile and Roasted Tomatoes-7635

Here’s a simple + sensational eggplant dip, salad, or side that packs a little kick from Hatch chiles – previously grilled and frozen to enjoy all year, and a subtle umami that’s hard to put your finger on (I’ll let you in on the secret ingredient in the recipe.)  Plus, its gluten free, diary free, and vegan. I think you’re going to love it, and the nutritional powerhouse that lies within.

Eggplant and Hatch Chiles  with Roasted Tomatoes-7642

 

For a delicious Double Duty Dinner:  Halibut broiled with a butter/lemon mixture is served on top of the Eggplant and Hatch Chiles with chopped roasted tomatoes. Mmmmm.

 

Halibut with Eggplant and Roasted Tomatoes

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9 Responses to “Purple Power: Eggplant, Hatch Chile and Roasted Tomatoes”

  1. Ally's Kitchen
    August 19 at 6:28 am #

    I did not know that eggplant is a fruit! Love the flavors going on here…and, know the hatch chilis are giving it some heat (I roasted some over the weekend, too!)…it’s always good to learn something new when I read your posts, Priscilla…the fabulous recipes are icing on the cake! Thanks for sharing your talents! xo

  2. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig
    August 19 at 11:48 am #

    I miss eggplant, hubby is allergic so I rarely have it around. This sounds delicious!

  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    August 19 at 12:38 pm #

    I love eggplant, these flavors are wonderful!

  4. kellie@foodtoglow
    August 19 at 11:05 pm #

    As a cancer health educator I’m a big fan of colourful plant food and this simple recipe looks delicious. Any sub for the hatch chillies? What’s it’s flavour profile?

    • Priscilla
      August 20 at 9:25 am #

      Thank you, Kellie. I’m always trying to create recipes that are as delicious as they are nutritious :) Hatch chiles can be mild or hot and are available in the markets now through mid September. You can substitute mild Anaheim chiles.

      • kellie@foodtoglow
        August 20 at 7:39 pm #

        Thanks. I live in the UK and these must go by another name. I’ve recently lightly smoked some guajillo chilies so may try those. I often combine aubergine and beans for fat-free dips with my weight management classes. The colour is a bit funny though. Thank goodness for herbs!

        • Priscilla
          August 21 at 9:57 am #

          Hi Kim – The Anaheim chile is a mild, long, green chile and may be called the California or New Mexico chile in Europe. Guajillo’s will do well with the eggplant too.

  5. shockinglydelicious
    August 20 at 6:32 am #

    Simply gorgeous!

  6. Jamie
    August 21 at 6:03 am #

    I love eggplant too (and blueberries and purple garlic and grapes) and this dip is marvelous! I can see that it would be great as a side dish with fish (we actually were just served something similar at our favorite restaurant!). And thanks for reminding us that a well-balanced diet is made up of the colors of the rainbow!

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