Solanum melongena 'Rosa Bianca' is clearly our # 1 choice when it comes to wonderful and beautiful. We have tried a number of heirloom eggplants over the years and have enjoyed them all, but this is our 5th season for this variety.
|S. melongena Rosa Bianca
80-90 days to harvest, and as with all eggplant, they love sun and heat. Know the seed is slow to germinate, but as gardeners we know patience is a virtue and with great reward.
Grilled Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stack with Balsamic Reduction from Diana's kitchen
Heirloom tomato, thickly sliced (1/2 to 3/4 of an inch)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh mozzarella, sliced, about 1/2 inch
fresh basil, thinly sliced
Rosa Bianca eggplant, unpeeled and thickly sliced (1/2 to 3/4 inch)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Panko or bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
balsamic reduction (see below)
Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle each with a little kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and set aside on a platter. Slice the soft mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with basil and put it aside.
Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg, then into the panko, and transfer to a heated frying pan with olive oil. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper and saute until golden brown, several minutes on each side and until slightly fork tender and maintains some firmness. Remove and transfer to a plate for assembly.
Assemble: grilled eggplant, slice of mozzarella with basil, tomato, mozzarella, and top with another grilled eggplant. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Um... reminds me of a portobello mushroom.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Place the vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan. Heat on medium-high until it begins to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the vinegar becomes a syrupy consistency, 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
It will become slightly thicker when cool; if it is too thick, I add a touch more balsamic; if it is too thin, put it back on the stove for further reduction. 1/2 cup of vinegar should yield slightly over 1/4 cup. Keep it stored at room temperature.