Prep time: 30 minutes. 
Cook time: 15 minutes. 
(Gathering supplies before cooking will reduce overall time.)  
Servings: 4   

Want a stronger brain?! Eat Eggplant! 

Did you know that eggplant has a brain-building phytonutrient? Yup, eggplant has an anthocyanin phytonutrient called nasunin. Nasunin is a free radical scavenger and antioxidant that protects cell membranes. Studies have shown that nasunin protects the fats in brain cell membranes. Since our brain matter is roughly 60% fat, this is really important! Our cell membrane, in turn, protects us from free radicals and is a gatekeeper for letting nutrients in and keeping waste out. It also receives instructions from messenger molecules to perform specific actions.  

Ingredients: 
  • 1 medium Eggplant  
  • 1- 12oz can Artichoke Hearts (drained and sliced in half) 
  • 1- 12oz package of gluten-free Gnocchi 
  • 1 large Lemon (juiced)  
  • ¼ cup Capers (drained) 
  • 4 Tbsp Organic Grass-fed Ghee* or vegan butter
  • 1 ¼ cup Vegetable Stock 
  • Basil or Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish 
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 
  •  Sea Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper 

*Ghee is cows’ butter without the milk fat or lactose. This is a good substitute if you are lactose sensitive or intolerant.  

Items needed: 
  • Large Sauté Pan 
  • Medium Sized Pot 
  • Cutting Board 
  • Chef’s Knife 
  • Wooden Spoon 
  • Medium Mixing Bowl 
  • Rubber Coated Tongs (or any tongs that will not scratch the bottom of the pan)
  • Resting Plate 
  • Measuring Cup 
Preparation: 
  1. Peel the skin from the eggplant and slice into 1-inch vertical slices. Season liberally with sea salt on both sides and set in colander in sink. (The salt seasons the eggplant and pulls out the bitterness). Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse under cold water and pat dry.  
  2. In a medium-sized pot, fill with water ¾ of the way full (approx. 4 quarts) and bring to a boil. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of ghee with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When ghee and oil start to sizzle, add 2-3 pieces of eggplant and cook for 1.5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove and transfer to resting plate. Melt 1 more tablespoon ghee and add another 1 tablespoon olive oil. When ghee and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2-3 pieces of eggplant and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add eggplant to the resting plate.  
  4. Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then add artichokes. Continue to simmer for 1 minute, then add remaining 2 tablespoons ghee to sauce and whisk vigorously. Turn off heat. 
  5. When water comes to a rolling boil, add gnocchi and stir. Cover with lid and cook for 2 minutes. Gnocchi will float to the top when done.  
  6. Drain gnocchi in colander in sink (do not rinse). Add to sauce and toss.  
  7. TO PLATE: Spoon gnocchi and sauce mixture onto a plate. Top with eggplant and spoon additional sauce over top if desired. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley.  

Buon appettito!