I’ve started feeling a little guilty about the lack of attention I’ve given to my eggplants in this blog. I’ve spent several posts harping on about my beautiful broad beans and spectacular silverbeet when the real hero in my vegetable garden all this time has been three elegant eggplants. Well, actually they’re not really all that elegant, they’re leggy and weeding looking, but all autumn and now into winter they have been abundant in fruit.
There are still quite a number of fruits on the plants, but I think once they’ve been picked that will be the end of them and it will be a sad day for me. Especially as once they’ve gone there will be a lull in the harvest with the exception of my forest of parsley and an always reliable rosemary bush. It will be sometime before my broad beans become productive, and the silverbeet is still a little small to make much of a meal, though I’m sure the young leaves will taste amazing in a quick stir fry or something. Also yet to come up are the spring onions and turnips.
But this post isn’t about them, it’s focus is the magnificent purple shiny eggplant, such a versatile and meaty vegetable. I should note at this point that the variety I planted was Lebanese eggplant, which is small and skinny, shaped a bit like a Lebanese cucumber. As such the eggplants themselves aren’t really big enough to do stuffed eggplant, or eggplant rolls, even eggplant parmigiana would be a little tricky. However, they were absolutely perfect for ratatouille, a Greek-style eggplant and lamb bake, Thai green curries and a vegetarian pasta sauce among other things.
However, probably the best part of having such abundant eggplants in the garden was being able to share them with friends and family. I love being able to turn up on someone’s door with ‘just a few things from my garden’ to present to them. Usually this just includes herbs (said parsley and rosemary, as well as basil when it’s in season) and in summer some tomatoes, so it was particularly nice to be able to include an eggplant or two (actually a few more than that given the size of them).
So to my eggplant I say I will miss you, thank you for your quiet productiveness tucked into the very back corner of the very back bed. Let’s hope I have the same success with you next year.
And with that it’s just about time to rip these babies out and put in something else. I’m thinking peas, I’ve got some seeds that are meant to be planted around this time, though I think I’ll start them out in seedling pots – and so that will be the theme of a future gardening post.