garden spotlight: eggplant

10 Sep

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I planted two eggplant plants this summer because last year one just wasn’t enough. Well, both of my plants apparently have been injected with steroids because they’ve been producing like crazy.

It’s awesome.

Aren’t they pretty?

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The tops are very prickly.  Brette found out the hard way.

He cooked up the very first eggplant while I was out of town (and took photos!) . This is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant.

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Slice it up into thick pieces. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Grill it for about 3-5 minutes per side until grill marks appear. If you feel like it, grill up some sausages too.

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Enjoy! It’s best to enjoy it right away because leftover grilled eggplant takes on a different texture that isn’t the best.

Because of my bumper crop, I’ve had to do more than just grill it. I made a huge batch of ratatouille (and froze some) and some babaganoush, which make an excellent dip or spread. It’s very similar to hummus, except you use eggplant instead of chickpeas. You could do half chickpeas, half eggplant for something a little different…just for fun.

This past week in an effort to try something new with eggplant, I started searching my cookbooks. It was one of those days when I found a lot of good looking recipes, but I was always missing an ingredient…or 6. Going to the grocery store wasn’t an option.  Are you familiar with those days?  Sometimes they stink and other times, you come up with a gem.

This was a gem day.

I decided to just combine  every recipe I looked at using the ingredients I did have. It’s possible I might not ever be able to recreate it, but I’m going to try.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Rotini

This fed us for dinner and Brette the next day for lunch.

2 medium eggplants, cut into cubes

2 large tomatoes cubed

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

Handful of oregano, rosemary, and parsley, chopped

8 oz rotini pasta or something similar – I used whole wheat

handful of olives, pitted and chopped – I had kalamatas on hand

1 Tbsp capers

4 oz feta crumbles

Preheat oven to 400.

Put eggplant and tomatoes on a sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with herb mixture and roast 10 more minutes or until it starts getting very brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

In large bowl, combine, pasta, eggplant mixture, olives, capers and another glug of balsamic and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add feta and toss.

If you have any other excellent uses for eggplant, I would love more ideas. It keeps growing.

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3 Responses to “garden spotlight: eggplant”

  1. Lee September 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Jen-
    I love your eggplant idea- I am going to try it after I get to my Farmer’s Market on Sunday.
    I must say I had my first graphic experience when I roasted an eggplant a couple of weeks ago.
    The insides remind me of something of the sea that has washed up on a shore somewhere. Purt a little garlic and olvioe oil and tahini with it and it is actually edible.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. the storm…it’s a comin’ « She said. She said. - July 22, 2010

    […] are even tastier to eat. Last year we made a great pasta with eggplant, which you can check out here. I’m confident I’ll find another delicious eggplant recipe to share with you soon now […]

  2. weeknight ratatouille | She said. She said. - August 22, 2010

    […] pasta or in ratatouille. Today I’m talking about ratatouille but for other recipes check out my post on this awesome veggie from last […]

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