Remember last year's eggplants?

on Friday, July 1, 2011

Those of you who were members last year probably remember how we were getting almost overwhelmed with eggplants, especially that long, narrow Japanese varieties. There were weeks where I was picking 75+ fruit!

So far this season the plants themselves haven't really started to take off yet. Because of the cooler spring, they didn't get set out into the ground as early as last year, and they're always slow to take off. Still, I'm pretty confident they'll be settled in soon enough and hopefully start to take off faster than the flea beetles can eat through their leaves.

We had a number of questions on how people prepare the tender-skinned, long, skinny eggplants last year. My usual methods were to either just simmer them with most of the other veggies coming out of the garden in a really chunky, flavorful sauce to serve over pasta (or even eat as a stew), or I'd grill them before adding them to recipes.

Near the end of the season, as everyone was burning out on the eggplant, I actually did an experiment where I washed, cubed, and dehydrated a bunch of the fruits in my dehydrator (along with sweet peppers, hot peppers and squash). (I have the Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator if anyone's curious, and it's great for preserving veggies and herbs from the garden, making dog treats, making apple rings from apple picking in the orchards in the fall, making fruit leather and more!)

I think the dehydrated eggplants have been my favorite - in fact, just this past week I added some dehydrated eggplants to a pot of boiling water at the same time as seashell pasta, and when the pasta was done I drained the whole pot and added the pasta and rehydrated eggplant to a bowl with tomato, cucumber, lemon juice, parsley, mint, olive oil, salt and pepper - it was sort of a twist on tabbouleh (which is what I was really hungry for, but was out of bulgar wheat, and decided, hey, if I was changing it up anyhow, let's add the eggplant!). Turned out GREAT!

Here's a web video showing something else you can make with eggplant - Japanese Eggplant Ratatouille. Looks gooooood!

Enhanced by Zemanta


Post a Comment