Eggplants can be a bit scary!

Why? Because they sit there on the kitchen table, looking at me, and I don’t know what to do with them.

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We have an abundance of eggplants over at the farm at the moment and they need to be used.

This week there were some that had missed the eagle eyes of the volunteer gardeners who were harvesting them that morning and were still on the plant, large and heavy, and in need of picking or go to waste. So I picked. And then I took them home.

That is when I made the earth shattering decision to ‘face the fear’ and learn all there is to know about cooking with eggplants/aubergines.

Thank goodness for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage fame. I will start with him. The veggie is well covered in his “Veg Everyday” cook book.  I will work my way through each and every recipe.

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Starting today with the classic Sicilian vegetable stew Caponata.  Eggplant is the star of the show and is well supported by a chorus of olive oil, tomato, garlic, celery, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, sultanas, capers, green olives, and CHOCOLATE!

Ta da!

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It might not look as pretty as the photograph in the book – here is a link to the recipe – but it tastes delicious and I will do as Hughie says and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days (with the occasional little taste!) and let the flavour develop to it’s full potential.

This is a good opportunity to take the finished dish back to the farm for a taste test with the other gardeners. They’ll all be grabbing the eggplants then!

I have tomorrow’s recipe all sorted. Watch this space.

Happy gardening

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Oct 31, 2014 @ 07:28:44

    I guess they were a bit scary to me. I only started cooking with them over the last several years.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 31, 2014 @ 18:26:35

      Eggplant was all very new to me having been raised in the UK and I’d never seen the vegetable over there. It’s only the past few years when I’ve had my allotment here in Brisbane that I have become familiar with the vegetable – but never really taken it seriously. That is going to change:)

      Reply

  2. kmfinigan
    Oct 31, 2014 @ 09:33:42

    The best way Ive ever eaten Eggplant is in my daughters Goulash. So 1 chopped eggplant, a couple of cups of chickpeas, onion, a sweet potato, a regular potato and garlic are sautéed together. Then add a jar (or your own mix) of curry paste – I prefer Pataks – and a can of coconut milk. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then serve topped with a dollop of hommous, a dollop of natural yoghurt and some toasted lebanese bread. Delish!

    Reply

  3. horticulturalhobbit
    Oct 31, 2014 @ 18:18:56

    You’ve done better than me, jean, but you do have the weather for it. Egg plant envy over here in Blighty!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 31, 2014 @ 18:39:14

      I don’t remember seeing this Mediterranean vegetable in the UK when I lived there. But they do so well in in Brisbane – they are so beautiful to look at when they are growing on the bush, all dark and shiny and lush. And prolific.

      Reply

      • horticulturalhobbit
        Oct 31, 2014 @ 18:40:33

        Grew half a dozen plants in the poly. Didn’t get many proper sized fruit. Ma loves them! The plants, Jean, are huge, and I barely scrape five foot. very leafy, leaves were like velvet!

  4. narf77
    Nov 01, 2014 @ 03:12:23

    You lucky girl! I adore eggplants but they are $6 for a small one here so I am resorting to growing my own which are only tiny seedlings at the moment. SO many ways to eat them and all of them delicious. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is my foodie sustainable hero.

    Reply

  5. Sarah
    Nov 01, 2014 @ 07:32:59

    I like to dice them and saute them in olive oil and garlic. Prepared this way, they remind me of mushrooms and I like to add to use them as such.

    Reply

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