Fresh parsley tends to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for insect inspection instructions.
2 medium eggplants (2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cooked rice (optional) or mashed potatoes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450. Prick the eggplants in several places with fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until softened and collapsed, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool, slice open and scoop the pulp from the skin. Discard the skin and chop the pulp.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion; saute until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant, tomatoes, lemon juice and sugar. Simmer gently, covered, 20 minutes. Add the parsley, and then season with salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes more. Serve alone or over rice or mashed potatoes.
Insect Inspection of Parsley
Fresh parsley (as well as the following herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.