Saturday, 26 March 2011

Purple Haze

Look: I grew these (yes, I am proud - and I don't mind admitting it [I think it's okay to talk about my vegetables isn't it, even if I do have to steer clear of my children?]):

They (the eggplant, not my children) look exactly like my brother-in-law's favourite shoes (although, obviously, he only has two of them - he's not Jake the Peg or anything). My brother-in-law never buys anything cheap, so that means these are pretty classy eggplant (or, at the very least, it means that they have the potential to be over-priced).

But, of course, I'm not going to sell them (you can't sell your children - I mean, vegetables - can you? I mean there must be a law against that - at least in the ACT [there's a law against everything, in the ACT, let's face it.])

But, given that I am not planning to put them on the market, I do need some ideas about what to do with them. When I planted the bush all those months ago, it didn't occur to me that I might actually achieve a crop of the things (there are half a dozen more out there, swelling as I write). Now that I am faced with the finished product, I realise I don't usually cook eggplant and have no real idea about what makes them taste especially delicious.

I therefore welcome all recipe suggestions, provided eggplants are the central theme.


  1. Why not cut the eggplant into slices about 1/2 cm thick, smear some olive oil over and grill them lightly (with black stripes, of course!). Then you could put some tasty chevre on top, plus sun-dried tomato and fresh thyme or oregano. Yummy snack/entree! By the way- congrats on your crop!

  2. wow - what a fantastic colour

  3. I swear I can hear a chorus of angels singing when I eat a dish my wife makes from eggplant -- so ridiculously delicious. I'll try to remember to get her to share it with you. If yours are as tasty as they are vibrant, you'll really have something.

  4. Congratulations indeed! I have to say, however, that eggplants are something I personally prefer to look at than to eat (and I concur with murfomurf about getting those important black charcoaly stripes on them).

  5. They look a very attractive mauve. In fact, they remind me of the colour of a pair of shoes made by the elves in a Ladybird edition of The Elves and the Shoemaker, which I had as a child and which I still read to my boys. So why not leave them on your workbench, loudly complain of your poverty before bedtime and see what happens?

  6. Yay! Lovely. Slice them thinly lengthwise, not crosswise, brush with olive oil and lemon juice and stick on the grill. Great with pesto or a hot chili sauce.

  7. Thank you to one and all. The consensus seems to be the grill and olive oil path, so that is where I'm headed.

  8. There's a shortage of eggplants in country Arizona at the moment -- they've all frozen in the fields or something, rows of iced-over stiff purple lightbulbs -- and we've been looking for them so that we can make green curry. I agree with the grilling suggestion too, but if you buy, from a shop, one of those little jars of Thai Green Curry Paste, and cook it as instructed, with eggplant in there -- cut into cubes and cooked in the coconut milk until it almost melts -- it tastes pretty lovely.

  9. Gaw - bloody elvish magic means I only read your comment after I'd eaten them all. Maybe next year.
    Umbagollah - yes, yes, yes, delicious. In fact, I can even make my own paste, as I have also grown (how boastful I am becoming) a huge clump of lemongrass and masses of coriander. Arizona must have ritzed up since we went through. At that time, I don't think you'd have been able to find a jar of Thai paste anywhere in the state.

  10. Cut pumpkin into 1cm cubes, and eggplants into chunky slices.

    Heat oil in sauce pan until hot.

    throw in pumpkin and eggplant and stir until sides of both are charred (about 2 - 3 minutes).

    Remove from pan.

    Turn down heat. Put in a chopped onion and a small thinly sliced chilli (or some capsicum if you don't like chilli).

    When onion softens a little, add in two chopped tomatos and a tablespoon of curry powder of your choice (masala works well) and a curry leaf. Cook until raw curry smell disappears (usually 3-4 miinutes)

    Add in a cup of water and the pumpkin and eggplant.

    Turn down heat and cook until water reduces and punkpin and eggplant go mushy. Top up with a little extra water to keep it moist.

  11. Sounds delicious, thank you very much - I shall wait until the first frost, after which pumpkins can be picked (before that, supposedly, they are tasteless) and then I will try it.