Purple Passion: homegrown eggplant

October 5, 2007 in Food Porn, Gardening, vegetable

If you have come here by way of Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger Birthday Giveaway, you will find details on my prize at this post – “ProBlogger Birthday Bash event: Nikas Peppermint Marshmallow Puff Pastries“.

Homegrown organic eggplant

Growing eggplants can be a speculative enterprise. I planted two types, purple and Turkish eggplants. The purples seem to go into suspended animation after sprouting and waited MONTHS before they got to a point where they are bearing fruits.

Homegrown organic eggplant

The Turkish eggplants were over-run but some very poorly behaved salad tomatoes that have terrorized me and my garden for months now. I will have to grow them again next year. I need to know what those are like.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to pick the first [tag]eggplant[/tag] and see if it is any better than the bitter things you buy in the big-box [tag]store[/tag]s.

I can say most emphatically that our [tag]homegrown[/tag] eggplant was the furthest thing from bitter and had the most [tag]transcendent[/tag] “eggplant” flavor I have ever experienced. I even left the skin on them and there was STILL no [tag]bitterness[/tag].

Using some technique from the [tag]Indian[/tag] cookbooks, I revisited the previous spicy eggplant recipe but without any pretension toward [tag]heat[/tag], just [tag]spice[/tag].

Homegrown organic eggplant with goat cheese and seckel pear

I served it with some tangy [tag]turmeric[/tag] [tag]panko[/tag] encrusted [tag]goat cheese[/tag] and these fantastic fruity and sweet [tag]seckel[/tag] [tag]pear[/tag]s.

[tag]Coconut[/tag] Spice Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 1 small eggplant, cubed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C oil (your choice, use something neutral in flavor)
  • 1 tsp [tag]mustard seed[/tag]s (yellow or black)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground [tag]cumin[/tag]
  • 1/2 medium sweet white onion
  • 2 T unsweetened coconut
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • 2 T water


Directions:

If you have young eggplants you might want to leave the skins on or you can peel them. Cut into cubes and set aside.

Heat about 1/2 cup of oil in a small well seasoned cast iron frying pan to medium and add a couple, three mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and cover. Once the popping stops, remove the lid and add the turmeric and the cumin. Swirl the spices around in the oil. They will foam up a bit.

After about 2-3 mins, add the onions and cook in the oil until somewhat translucent but NOT toasted or browned in any way.

Add the eggplant and coconut, with a sprinkle of salt.

Coat the eggplant and saute until the oil is absorbed.

Add about 2 tablespoons of water and cover, cook on low heat until the eggplant has cooked to a medium soft stage. Stir this mixture occasionally when you check on it.

Serve on rice or other starch or perhaps as I have here with some goat cheese and seckel pear.

Turmeric Panko encrusted Chevre

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 8 ounces cold [tag]chevre[/tag]
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (use fresh if at all possible)
  • panko, enough to coat the cheese

Directions:
Slice chilled goat chevre into medallions and replace in the refrigerator.

Add oil to small cast iron pan (well seasoned) or non-stick pan at medium to medium high heat (watch for scorching at any point in this process). Add turmeric to the oil, it will foam a bit.

Put panko in a bowl and then press the chevre medallions into the panko firmly to coat the ends (not the sides).

Place the cheese in the hot turmeric oil and allow to toast to a tan or brown you like. You need to cook it enough to form a crust so that you can flip it over. You may have to experiment at this stage to find the level of toasting that allows you to flip it with out making a mess!

Flip, toast on the other side, serve hot with fruit or crackers or some other inventive idea all your own!

The toasted cheese plays VERY well with the pear and the eggplant. It was such a refreshing lunch and I totally did not miss meat or starch. That is not a bad thing at all.


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