Posts Tagged ‘eggplant’

Posted on 4th February 2010

Cook | Eggplant


eggplant salad

Warm eggplant salad

1 ruby grapefruit, peeled
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp black olives, chopped
1 large eggplant, trimmed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Cut grapefruit into segments, collecting juices. Place in abowl with parsley, onion and olives. Season well.
2. Cut eggplant into 8 thick slices. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 mins. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Chargrill on high for 1-2 mins each side, until golden.
3. Stack 2 slices of eggplant on each serving palte. Top with grapefruit mixture and drizzle over oil.

Serves 4

Blanching eggplant helps to reduce the absorption of oil when cooking, making it not only healthier but improves the texture as well.

try this ….
Eggplant & bocconcini melts
Blanch and chargrill thickly sliced eggplant. Form a stack by layering eggplant, sliced tomato and sliced bocconcini. Drizzle with a little oil and place under a grill for 2-3 mins, until bocconcini is starting to soften. Top with a few basil leaves before serving.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under cook
Posted on 3rd February 2010

Harvest | Eggplant



The most common debate when preparing eggplant is whether to salt or not! The main reason eggplant is salted, is to extract bitterness, however this only occurs due to aging and being stored too long before using. Freshly harvested eggplant should not have this problem.

generally speaking, eggplant do not like cold temperatures and therefore can brown and alter the flavour if refrigerated. Once picked store in a cool place for about 2-3 days.

What to do with glut

  • Preserve:

Roasted eggplant

Trim ends and cut 1 cm thick slices. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Blanch eggplant for 2mins. Drain. Lay onto a clean tea towel and pat dry. Heat a chargrill on high. Cook eggplant for 2 min each side, until golden and tender. Place in sterilized jars. Top with a bay leaf, 1 peeled clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Fill each jar with light olive oil, pressing down eggplant with back of a spoon to release any air. Seal and store in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate once opened.

  • Dry:

Eggplant chips. Thinly slice eggplant, lengthways. Lay, in a single layer on baking trays and brush with olive oil. Bake at 180C or 160C fan for 20-25 mins, until golden and crisp. Cool on trays and store in an airtight container.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under harvest
Posted on 2nd February 2010

Grow | Eggplant



Nothing could be more unlike an egg than the current day eggplant bushes, with their deep purple black skins, aubergine, as the French call them, really is a better fit.  On closer inspection of the varieties available however you see a similar story told of that of the tomato;  eggplants have been standardised for mass market appeal and handling ease.  Sadly, these stodgy, sometimes bitter examples taste nothing like a freshly picked eggplant, which rarely need salting and actually have a sweetness rarely tasted in shop bought examples which have often been stored too long for their own good.  Look around however and you’ll find many more interesting colours and shapes, from purple streaked skins Listada di Gandia, pure white ones (and yes, some of these are very much like eggs), long skinny Asian Eggplants and even round, pea shaped ones used a lot in Thai cooking.

staking eggplants

Eggplants love the heat so need to be planted out in mid to late spring when there is no chance at all of cold spells or frosts and in fact cope with the heat and humidity of February more than most other veggies.  They don’t grow as tall as tomatoes, but still require staking.  This is really just because they bear so well that a stake helps stop the bushes from falling over under their own weight of fruit.  The pretty purple flowers that herald fruit are actually quite ornamental, so don’t hide your bushes down the back, bring them to the fore to really enjoy them.  Plant some flowers or bee attracting plants, like basil, around each bush to encourage better pollination.

When picking the fruit, use a sharp knife or scissors as pulling them off will weaken their roots and make them more prone to rot.

Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICS

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Posted under grow