Well the eggplants have been in overdrive, which is wonderful. Though today I only picked one. But it is definitely the season for them. I keep reading blogs asking what to do with them, or giving recipes. Today I made curry. I usually don't follow a recipe with curry. I tend to throw things in when I cook, but I can give you a recipe that is approximately what I do - though it will change depending upon my mood. Today I had zucchini, eggplant, beans and jalapeños from the garden and that made a wonderful curry.
- Olive oil
- 1/2 onion, minced
- clove of garlic grated (yes I don't squish or mince mine, I grate it through a small- medium grater)
- T fresh grated ginger
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 red pepper (I had a strange one from the farmers market, sort of sweet, but a little picante)
- 1 zucchini
- 1 eggplant (mine is very small, more than I had would be better)
- handful of green beans (not a usual addition to my curries, but really any veggie is good to throw into curry, in the winter it will be winter squash and sweet potatoes)
- 1/2 can of diced tomatoes (I'd used fresh but all I have is cherries and their skins make a terrible texture)
- 2t curry powder (I use Penzey's curry powder)
- 2t cinnamon
- 2t garam masala
- dash of cloves and allspice
- crushed coriander
Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Sauté a minute more. Add everything else except the beans (I like them crunchy) and simmer for 15 minutes. Add a little water if necessary. Add the beans and cook for 3 minutes. Eat.
Most recipes will have you sautéing each vegetable separately until brown. I don't like to do this. Olive oil breaks down in high heat, and will oxidize. So even when I sauté the onions I won't let it get very hot. Simmering is easier on the oil and on the veggies. Not to mention I'm a really lazy person sometimes and just don't want to do it.
I also confess that I had some left over roast beef in the freezer. It was 6 months old and really needed to be eaten. I minced it finely and put it in. I know it is a little sacrilegious to eat cow and curry together. It really should have been lamb or chicken. But lunch always tends to be the meal of what I need to eat (leftovers, what I picked in the garden, or the package that got shoved to the back of the freezer), so I ate it. Along with some cucumber salad and cottage cheese (not a yogurt fan, but it serves the same purpose).
Curry really is my favorite way to eat eggplant now. Eggplant Parmesan comes in a close second. Yumm.
And since it is eggplant season, you just know that the current hot question from the search engines is "When do I pick my eggplant". I have to laugh if they get my other blog posts that say I pick it when it hits five inches. That is just for my variety. Mine tend to increase in size really fast for me. I really don't want them to start developing seeds so I pick them when they slow down in their growth. This is usually five inches for me, but sometimes four or six. Most people say pick them while they are shiny and before they turn dull. Once you hit dull you are too late. You can never be too early, they taste great young.
My eggplants have tons of fruit on them, but sadly they are tending to wilt. I watered today to see if that was the problem, but no. They are wilting even with the water. I hope they will be ok. They have been a surprise hit for me, since I haven't eaten them since childhood. Now I just wonder if I like them because they are totally non-bitter from my garden. Or maybe my tastes have just changed.