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Wood Stove Roasted Eggplant

Wood Stove Roasted Eggplant

The wood stove was a fixture of my childhood. “Hot” was my first word, accompanied by an emphatic “hands-off” motion. Until modesty eventually overcame us, my brother and I would get dressed near the stove on frigid winter mornings – its heat helped to make those painfully early, dark mornings more bearable.

I remember daring each other to touch the hot black cast iron for just a second before pulling our fingertips away and the joy of watching water spit and dance any time a drop of ice or snow landed on it. There was also a brief, thrilling chapter of spitting on the stove’s top to enjoy this effect before my mother made us stop.

The wood stove in my parents’ kitchen with Dutch-inspired tile mural by my mom, Rosemary Fox, copyright 2011.

When we got a little older, the care and feeding of the wood stove was added to our chores – stacking wood in the fall, carrying endless loads of wood inside to feed our stoves and fireplace, scooping the ashes out, dumping the bucket of ashes on the compost pile, and sweeping the ever-present mixture of bark, sawdust, dirt and ash from the hearth tiles.

Woodpile is shipshape by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2010

But I never realized you could cook in the wood stove until I watched a friend’s mom wrap some sweet potatoes in tin foil and toss them into the coals when I was over for dinner. Why hadn’t we ever thought of that?!

It’s been at least 20 years since that aha moment but the idea came back to me the other night when we were casting about for something easy to make for dinner. I sliced up two eggplants, rubbed each slice with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, then layered on some homemade garlic scape pesto that we’d frozen and smeared on some tomato paste.

Stacking up the eggplant slices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Then I wrapped them each in several layers of tinfoil (unless it’s ripped or covered with something really yucky like fish skin, we wash this and reuse it.)

Wrapping up the eggplant by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

We popped open the stove door, raked the coals into a nice cozy bed and placed the little eggplant zeppelins on them. We got out the big tongs we use for the grill and flipped the eggplants a few times to ensure even cooking.

After about 20 minutes, they were done. We took them out of the stove, all covered in ashes, and opened the steaming packages up.

Sprinkling feta cheese on the woodstove baked eggplant by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog copyright 2013

The eggplant was perfect – tender and flavorful. I topped the slices with crumbled feta cheese and drizzled them with a little olive oil. It tasted divine and the clean up was minimal, too. If you use a wood stove or fireplace, give this a whirl. Happy new year, all!

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.

81 comments

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3:00AM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

Thank you

1:24AM PST on Mar 8, 2014

Thank you :)

8:04AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

tyfr

2:15AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

Thank you :)

1:53PM PST on Jan 16, 2014

The only way I've had eggplant, was in a salad with loads of olive oil.
It was nice!

1:17PM PST on Jan 9, 2014

nice. My parents still have a wood stove. I remember it came in real handy during an ice storm when the power was out for over a week in the winter.

4:59AM PST on Jan 9, 2014

Yummy!

6:47PM PST on Jan 7, 2014

Yum :O) TYFS

5:48PM PST on Jan 7, 2014

Woooowwww!. Those eggplant looks really,really good!!!! :)

8:38AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

Sounds very good. Thanks.

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