Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eggplant Explosion

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.

Curried Vegetables

  • 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
  • salt

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.


  1. Great recipe, thanks for sharing. I love Curry and this looks like a recipe that can be adapted as needed. I love that you use what you have on hand. Those eggplants are gorgeous, I love their deep purple color. I hope the wilt doesn't become a continuous problem for you.

  2. Daphne, I can not seem to come away from your blog without being hungry! Everytime I read about your veggies I realize I did not plant enought this year! My husband loves to make curries so I will be sure to print this out for him. Although that will set into stone me growing it next year!

  3. Daphne, Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog, thought I would come and say hello! Wonderful by the way - lots of good ways to eat eggplant (aubergine we call it!). On the gardening programme we have over here, they said to grow no more than 4 fruits to a you grow more? I'll be back soon! Cat x

  4. perennial garden lover: Thanks. I really hope the wilt will not take over also. I ought to look it up and see if it is an eggplant disease or something else, but for now I'll just watch.

    Cynthia: it is only fair turnaround. You made me plant all kinds of mints. And I've appreciated them too. You also have me thinking about lemon verbena. I never grow plants that aren't hardy here (ok ok I do grow rosemary). But I keep thinking about it.

    coffeeandapplepie: I love reading blogs from across the pond. I've almost got the language differences worked out. Eggplant is new for me this year. I confess that I didn't look up how to grow it at all. I suppose I ought to do that at some point. That is not to say that I knew nothing about growing it. I've probably read a million gardening books over the years and I'm sure some things have stuck. Though I've never heard about pruning off the fruit. I've let as many grow as the plant puts out. It seems to be working (except that wilt issue). Of course I'm growing Slim Jim, which puts out little eggplants. They aren't the huge ones I find in the grocery store.

  5. Mmmm ... this sounds very good. My husband and I love a good curry!

  6. This recipe does sound good. I wish I had an explosion of eggplants as well. I only have three plants, and one of them is the only one producing. The other two have blooms but nothing comes from them. I am so jealous of all your numerous eggplants! :-)