The fresh market in Šibenik, Croatia, is open every day. However, Saturday morning is when shoppers turn up in large numbers and the most vendors are set up to serve them. This is one occasion where I make no effort to avoid the crowds.
Surrounding the open air market is an array of meat and cheese shops and my favorite bakery kiosk where my preferred baguette of whole grain bread costs $1.20. I have returned so often that the lady no longer needs to ask me what I want.
There is a fish market and several butcher shops. However, I am eating mostly vegetarian these days, so I peruse these shops mostly out of curiosity. I will say it is a good thing I no longer have a barbecue grill, because I cannot envision this vegetarian lifestyle if there were a grill on my deck.
I love the hum of the crowd and the animated vendors encouraging shoppers to take advantage of their great deals. And most of the fruits and vegetables are great deals. I bought a pomegranate for 60 cents. We mix and match a variety of apples for about 40 cents/pound, and we get pears for about 65 cents/pound. Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are about the same. Potatoes and onions are quite inexpensive. Bananas are over 90 cents/pound because they come from Ecuador or Costa Rica. However, we save so much on other produce that we do not mind paying extra for bananas. The eggplants, which are not my favorite vegetable, look amazing. They are thin and firm with few seeds, perfect for the way Florence cooks them and the way I most enjoy them (recipe below).
Florence’s Recipe for Baked Eggplant Wafers
Mike has never been a fan of eggplant, especially when it is cooked in thick slices that become mushy when baked. However, when I bake thin wafers of eggplant so that they come out of the oven with the texture of a cookie, there are seldom leftovers. He even requests them if we have gone a long time without having had some.
2 or 3 small to medium-sized eggplants
Approximately 1 cup of bread crumbs
¼ cup olive oil
1 egg or egg substitute
Pre-heat oven to 350°F
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread a layer of olive oil across the sheet.
Peel eggplants and slice into thin wafers no more than ¼” thick. Bathe in whipped egg and then coat both sides of eggplant wafers in bread crumbs.
Lay bread crumb-coated eggplant wafers on oiled cookie sheet and bake about 20 minutes on one side or until they begin to brown. Remove cookie sheet from oven and flip eggplant over to bake on second side also until lightly browned. They will come out of the oven with the texture of a cookie that is crispy on the outside and still slightly moist inside. Serve hot. This recipe will yield two or three sheets of baked eggplant wafers depending on the size of the eggplants.
Save leftovers to snack on either cold or reheated. Try using some leftovers in a sandwich.
If you try this recipe, let me know if you like it or any variations you may have tried.