Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eggplant Little Fingers

Eggplant on my mind...
 22-38” plants with big yields of slender Asian-style purple fruits. Quick-cooking, with tender skins and slices uniform in size. 

I'm in. Ordered seeds for this yesterday, from Bountiful Gardens.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rooftop Eggplant 2012

Yesterday Bruce reminded me I should be starting eggplant and pepper seeds and I thought: ack I have to post about last season first. So here we go...
 Mmm, eggplant
Top right, listada de gandia
(if you can't get enough of its purple-striped beauty, click here)
Then Thai green
And pingtung long

Summer 2012 was so hot the first round of tomatoes didn't set up. But the eggplant flourished. We love the flower and that emerging fetal pingtung long.

Here's the Thai green.

Could it be that eggplant's elephant leaves provide enough shade for plants to survive when it's 130 degrees F (on the roof) in actual 100-105-degree F temps?
I'm not sure, but this is anything but good:
A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike.
There are worse things than an abundance of eggplant. Sliced crosswise and tossed into a nicely oiled hot cast-iron pan, the listada make quick friends with Jimmy Nardello peppers and basil. That's one fast lunch when I crawl down from the roof with my belly and brain pleading for nutrients.
Eggplant and eggs too
At season's end, when we couldn't keep up with the output (happy challenge), I chopped the bounty into large chunks and whizzed them in the Cuisineart. I wasn't sure how I'd use the resulting eggplant mash, but I needed to get those vegetables into the freezer pronto. I thought about salting and squeezing before I froze...but nah.

It's been a culinary contest to use it up, but we've done it, and with good results. Eating anything fresh from the roof via freezer in winter makes us happy. Eggplant's benign character calls for innovative spicing, such as in this one-pan meal with garlic, fresh ginger, minced grassfed beef, chives sauce.

For many meals I used a generous hand with olive oil/kalamata/garlic/lemon/fresh oregano and mint to lift the flavor.

And here, as a base for two homemade meatballs gifted us by a dear friend, swimming in her mother's Italian gravy (made with pork neckbones--are you salivating?). All the flavor an eggplant needs to carry the day.

Time to start seeds
for 2013