Monday, June 4, 2012

Fairy Tale Eggplants!

My "Fairy Tale" eggplants are starting to produce like crazy!  They set in little clusters of miniature eggplants, that are purple with gray-ish streaks, although one of the plants is coming out more of a grayish violet color. Nothing wrong with them, just a slight genetic variant. At maturity, the plants are at most a couple of feet tall, and the eggplants 3-4" long. They are growing beautifully in 5 gallon buckets and similar sized decorative pots. They'd be perfect for a patio or balcony garden, They've already earned a permanent spot in my garden, and I'll be ordering seeds for next year. I lucked out and found the plants at a garden center for 99 cents per transplant size plant. I planted 10 total, and after one got eaten by a caterpillar and stray cats dug up one and seriously damaged another, I have 7 healthy plants and one that's straggling and struggling along.  They're somewhat decorative little plants too. They make broad green leaves with flowers that have a very slight violet tinge. They only need a short stake at the main stem, that is completely hidden in the foilage. I can see next year planting them at the back of a flower bed, fronted by a low-growing plant, maybe lavender colored Alyssum?

As to what to do with the actual eggplants? I'm going to take these and just remove the green tops, slice them in half down the middle, brush with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt, and then just roast them in the oven. I hear they grill up very well too. I'll have more to try that out with by the weekend. But you could do anything with them really. The skin is perfectly edible because it's so thin, and they have a minimum of seeds. Baba Ganouch or something similar? Cube them up into small pieces, roast them, slightly mash them, mix with some lemon juice and spices, and chill to use as a bruschetta type spread? Hollow a bit out of the center and stuff them for dainty little appetizers? So many yummy possibilities!

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