Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eggplant Takes Over the World!

We have been overwhelmed with eggplant lately from our CSA. Seriously, dramatically overwhelmed. The past few weeks, there have been 10-12 eggplants in our box each Saturday. A dozen eggplants! Which arrive with the promise of another batch to arrive a mere 7 days later! Granted, they are smaller than grocery-store-style eggplant and come in a variety of lovely colors, but still, that's a lot of eggplant to deal with every week. This has been somewhat typical of our CSA this year; they tend to give us vast quantities of a very few kinds of things. The total quantity of food they give us isn't a problem for our veggie-eating habits, but I do wish there was more variety. Our other CSA experience in Connecticut was quite different in this regard, but I don't know if this difference is one of management or just climate. Anyway, the eggplant is now ranking up there with the turnips for the challenge it is presenting to our gastronomic planning because, you see, none of us actually likes eggplant. We are very open-minded at our house about food and vegetables in particular, but everyone has their little foibles and among ours is a dislike for this admittedly beautiful, sexy berry. This means I am looking for ways to eat it than involve a bit of, say, camouflage. So how have we been eating our eggplant?
  • Sliced, grilled with olive oil, then served with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. This was, eh, just OK. It tasted a little too eggplant-y, if you know what I mean.
  • Steamed and pureed, intended for 7-month-old Violet-- This turned out DISGUSTING and I did not try to give it to her. Blech... I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
  • Eggplant Involtini, from Feast by Nigella Lawson. Mmmmm, cheesy goodness.
  • Baba Ghannouj from Alton Brown. Yummy!
  • Badenjan Dip from Nigella Lawson. More yummy eggplant dip goodness!
  • Grilled eggplant slices the next day cold with a miso dressing. Yech. It sounded so promising but was NOT GOOD.
  • Udon Noodles with Tofu, to which I added the eggplant with the other vegetables. Udon noodles make everything better.
  • Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza from Smitten Kitchen. Very nice indeed, and I think I'm going to try some of her other eggplant recipes when we, you know, get more this weekend.
  • Eggplant Parmigian-- I used this recipe that my friend Emily sent to me at the very end of my pregnancy with Violet because of its supposed labor-inducing properties, but there's also one in this month's Everyday Food that's about the same. It turns out when you fry eggplant in olive oil and then douse it with red sauce and cheese, it is very tasty.
  • A spin on the Greek classic pastitsio casserole done with eggplant instead of the meat. Quite tasty, although just verging on being too eggplant-y.
  • A Thai-style green curry with other veggies and tofu over rice. I made it extra spicy and thus we did not taste the eggplant essence.
  • A slow-cooker vegetarian chili with black beans and corn from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, which is very nice cookbook. This was quite good, and after all day in the slow cooker, the eggplant sort of dissolved into the chili.
That's all I can remember right now, although I feel like we've eaten more eggplant than this in the past month or so. I am predicting (hoping?) that we have reached the eggplant zenith and this Saturday when we pick up our CSA box we will have fewer eggplants than last week, signaling the beginning of the end for the eggplants. You never know, though. Perhaps I shall be haunted by their presence in the vegetable drawer in my refrigerator FOREVER.


Christy@pipandsqueak said...

That is funny. I had one unfortunate experience cooking eggplant parmesan in college where it seemed to b ea sponge for the oil. I have thought I would try again but never have. Have you tried making ratatouille?

Jacki said...

I love eggplant.

Julia said...

Christy-- Yeah, I knew I had forgotten something. We have indeed have ratatouille, which we like pretty well.

Jacki-- Maybe I should share some with you. :)

amydove said...

So, did the eggplant stop coming yet?