That lean, mean aubergine
And by that I mean eggplant.
Dad brought some home for the very, very, very first time in my whole life the other week. He came home with a whole bag of them (well and by that I mean three because they were rather plump). Things were about ready to get exciting.
I really enjoy a good cooking challenge. If things are too "ordinary" or "expected" in the kitchen then, eh well, where is the fun in that? So when Dad came home with the bag full of eggplant, I knew the challenge was about ready to begin yet again. What in the heck do I do with that?
We have never grown eggplant. I've seen it around of course, but actually am unsure if I ever actually ate it prior to this summer. I don't think so. I've admired it from a far – in the produce section of the grocery store or at Asheville's infamous tailgates. The purple color of the vegetable is so bodacious. I love the color purple but this plant completely weirds me out. Absolutely.
During my hunt for recipes to use all this egg plant for I asked several other people what they do and the answers were typically the same.
What do you do with eggplant?
Well, I usually make eggplant parmesan.
Check. Done. Twice actually. But we still had some left over.
Truth be told, eggplant parmesan was not my first eggplant attempt. The first battle was eggplant burgers which I grilled up and stacked between layers of tomatoes, cheese, and basil. Nice idea, right? Yeah… it was gross. So I was definitely happy when the second recipe (the parm) turned out to be yummy.
The third epic battle of "Anna verse the eggplant" was Baba Ghanoush (a hummus type of dip made with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas). It. Was. Awesome. (even though most of it was eventually forgotten about). The best part was that one of the comments under the online recipe was from a reviewer who failed to pork the thing with a fork before she/he stuck it in the oven. It apparently explodes if you don't do it. How exciting. I did, however, remember to stab it with a fork and found great satisfaction in doing just that.
And then Dad brought home some more. Oh my word. I tried yet another new recipe (which took a lot of work and was okay but maybe not worth it). From that I happily concluded that the season for the Yoders to eat eggplants is over for now but I do want to say (and maybe the actual point of this blog) is that living local sometimes means trying new things that have often been left off our plates. If it's in season, we'll eat it – or at least try it. and if we hate it, eh, well at least the season last for exactly that.
Bring it on, eggplants, bring it on.