07 October 2018

An Excess of Eggplant


Look at that handsome Under-Gardener with his arms full of aubergines. Does he look a bit stunned by the number of fruits cradled in his arms? Does he wonder what suspicious aubergine-enriched meals await him?

As you can see, we are suffering from an excess of eggplant (that's "aubergine" if you're English). When I planted three wee, spindly seedlings in May I hardly expected them to amount to much. At best, one might thrive while the others dwindled and died. More likely, none would survive to fruit. And then, this.

These plants aren't anything special -- just your classic Italian eggplant -- and I did absolutely nothing for them aside from a bit of fertilizer early on. But the amount of fruit coming off them since late August has been, well, bonkers.

So what do we do with all that eggplant? While I've taken an occasional basket to work, mostly we've just eaten them.

Betty Crocker's "Baba Ghanoush" is definitely my go-to recipe. It's easy, delicious, keeps well, and is well-suited to my snacky lifestyle. I've tried other baba ghanoush recipes, but Betty Crocker's is the one I keep coming back to. The addition of roasted chickpeas just gives it that extra bit of something.

I've also made Martha Rose Shulman’s "Lasagna with Tomato Sauce & Roasted Eggplant" from the New York Times with fabulous results. It reheats well, so don't be concerned about the amount of leftovers it makes.


In a pinch, I roast cubed eggplant with cherry tomatoes, onion, and garlic and then toss the vegetables with cooked multigrain pasta, feta, basil, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Most recently, I made Betty Crocker's "Stuffed Eggplant." This was an delicious, easy Sunday dinner that even The Husband enjoyed. I did make some alterations to the recipe, cooking the onion, pepper, and garlic together in the olive oil, then adding the beef so I didn't dirty two skillets. I also used a blend of shredded cheddars instead of pecorino Romano, because cheddar is all I had.


And there are still more eggplant.

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