Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eggplant Surprise

As my tomato plants waned and I picked the last of those red beauties, I checked on the eggplants. I have grown eggplants for the last few years now and have had either pathetic-looking fruits that have been nibbled on by critters or loads of flowers too late into the season for any hopes of a crop. I even asked another gardening friend of mine--who gets much more sun and has a much larger space dedicated to veggies than I do--about his eggplants. His response, "I gave up a couple of years ago on growing them."

What can I say? I guess I like a challenge. Either that, or I'm terribly optimistic, thinking, "This year it's going to be different!"

I couldn't believe it when I crouched over the plants and spotted not one, but THREE eggplants. They were decent in size with a lovely dark purple color. I hurried them into the kitchen. I wasn't prepared for this crop and needed to bide some time. I didn't want to put them into the fridge and have them rot away. That would've been a shame. I thinly sliced them up and froze them for a later date.

Look at that fantastic jewel-toned color!

Last week, I made a vegetarian shepherd's pie from the UC Davis Coffeehouse Cookbook from 1996. This recipe showcases eggplant and bell pepper in a ratatouille-inspired base that is topped with sour-cream infused mashed potatoes. It calls for wheat germ, but I subbed in ground up quick oats for my wheat-intolerant friend. The perfect dish to start off our fall-like weather in Seattle.

ps: I'm not sure you can still buy the spiral-bound version of the 1996 edition, but the original 1986 edition has been reprinted and is available through the UC Davis Bookstore.


Anonymous said...

So was it Galine or Applegreen?

By the way, did you have any luck with those melons?

Bridget Lamp said...

It was Galine. Applegreen didn't do well here, but they did in friends' gardens producing small, green fruit.

Eliza said...

Great job! Where I live my eggplants always do their best in the fall. Once I realized that I just think of them as late bloomers and enjoy bumper crops from Sept - Nov. I still know lots of people who complain they are impossible, but I think they just give up too early (I know I never bother to water or fertilize if I don't think I'm going to get anything out of it).