In love with Eggplant

The farmers markets are filled to the brim with goodness. Corn thats as sweet as candy, juicy, heirloom tomatoes, and deep, dark eggplant. When I shop at the farmers market I usually go with a list, but sometimes I get hypnotized and pick up things that I have no idea what to do with. Eggplant is one of them. I have one main recipe that I make with eggplant but I was craving that Chinese fast food, eggplant with garlic sauce. After doing a quick little search online, I found one that seemed fast and simple. I also added up some green beans that I had in my produce drawer to add a crunch to the mushy eggplant.

Something I learned in my research, make sure to salt your chopped up eggplant with salt to rid it of its extra moisture and bitterness. But unlike me, rinse before cooking! Unfortunately I didnt do this and needed quite a few glasses of water after.

Eggplant and Green Beans with Garlic Sauce

adapted from The New York Times

18 ounces Chinese eggplant (about 3 small), cut into 1/8-inch chunksSalt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fermented soybean paste
1 teaspoon hot chili paste
1 cup string beans, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 jalepeno
1 garlic crushed

-Place the eggplant in a large bowl. Sprinkle all over with salt and toss. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves. Stir in 1/2 cup water, the garlic and the soybean and chili pastes.

-In a large wok or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, add chili and crushed garlic. Just before the garlic starts to brown, remove both garlic and chili.

-Rinse eggplant and the dab eggplant dry with paper towels. In the wok, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium high until it just starts to smoke. Add the eggplant, and sauté until lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the soy-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Once the sauce thickens, add 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the string beans. Cook until the eggplant is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt. If you choose, serve with rice.