For those of you who missed the announcement, I am working on compiling an awesome new project: Taino Farm and eXtreme Hotel’s Organic Cookbook! Our goal is to create a resource that we can share with our eXtreme Hotel and Taino Farm’s community, as well as the rest of the world! We hope it will help motivate and guide us in our quest to make healthy, amazing food from sustainable resources.

We chose recipes with three things in mind:

1. Are the ingredients grown locally and sustainably? Read about the importance of growing and buying local and organic food in my previous article.

2. Is it affordable and easy to make?

3. Are the ingredients nutritious and delicious?

I’ll be posting the recipes individually on the Taino Farm blog and the whole thing will be available at the end. Look out for a “GL” throughout the recipes to signify which ingredients are grown locally!

 

Slicing eggplant from Taino Organic Farm for a delicious baked eggplant recipe.

Slicing eggplant from Taino Organic Farm for a delicious baked eggplant recipe.

Baked Eggplant

Eggplant Parmigianino is a great go-to at the farm because we have such a steady supply of eggplants. It is usually made with gobs of cheese, however we make a healthier version with tomatoes and pesto for flavor.

2 large eggplants GL

2 onions GL

¼ cup olive oil

3 cups finely chopped tomatoes GL

8 cloves garlic, crushed GL

¾ cup fresh pesto GL

1.)  Slice eggplants long ways, and lay on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 15 minutes

2.)  Slice onions and slowly sauté in ¼ cup olive oil, over low-medium heat. Add 6 cloves garlic and cook until onions are soft and sweet

3.)  After the 14 minutes are up, pat the eggplant dry with a clean cloth (the salt helps to pull out the excess moisture from the eggplant)

4.)  In a bowl, mix together tomatoes, pesto and salt and pepper

5.)  Lightly oil a 9’ by 13’ baking dish with olive oil.

6.)  Lay the strips of eggplant in the dish, and layer with the tomato/pesto mixture like you would lasagna. If the eggplants are particularly large, you may need to add more tomatoes. Top with fresh pesto and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and delicious smelling.

Eggplant from Taino Organic Farm topped with fresh pesto made from aquaponic basil grown in eXtreme Hotel's own backyard.

Eggplant from Taino Organic Farm topped with fresh pesto made from aquaponic basil grown in eXtreme Hotel’s own backyard.

Variations:

Baked eggplant can be made with a ground beef Bolognese sauce instead of tomatoes and pesto. Both are delicious. If using a Bolognese sauce, keep it on the light side with lots of fresh tomatoes and onions, and lean meat.

Thanks to Kelsey Rush for the original recipes! Stay tuned for an amazing pesto recipe made from our organic, aquaponic basil!

Photos and post by Lynsey Wyatt.