Gardening and the Joys of Eggplant

Aahhh…..eggplant, the glorious fruit of the vegetable garden. I love stepping out my back door to find what the garden brings; lovely greens, fresh with morning drops of dew glistening, berries red and ripe coloring my fingertips, tomatoes turning slowly red and peeking through the green curtain of leaves and stems. There is basil to crush between my fingers and inhale its sharp peppery scent. Peppers; sweet, spicy and all together hot, get my thoughts dancing upon culinary flavors….but for me there is nothing like the thrill of eggplants. The beautifully voluptuous and decidedly sensual aubergine in all of its exotic glory. From their planting I wait in joy and anticipation for the appearance of the first blossoms, purple against green, settling in with promise.

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…and then slowly the blossom develops a petite purple drop. They are like fairy fruits, delicate and delightful, growing into entirely pleasant bells of shade and shape.

This morning I picked my first eggplants. I think saute, stir-fry, curry, parmesan, oven roasted; settling on Baba Ganoush. Every year I consider all the others and every year the first fruits of the eggplant always appear in the offering of Baba Ganoush. Yes, summer is now complete for me. Flowers, berries and melons, water, walks, strolling through my garden, butterflies and bugs, kids at play and the first offerings of eggplants; the comely aubergine.

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Baba Ganoush
2 medium or 1 large eggplant, sliced in rounds or cut in half, depending on size

1/4 c. tahini

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

1 large garlic clove, crushed

1/4 c. chopped onion

1T. olive oil

1 – 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

*Prepare eggplant and place on baking sheet. Place under heated broiler. Broil until eggplant starts to turn brown and softens. In a small skillet, add a bit of olive oil and saute the garlic and onion. When softened and a bit caramelized, take off of heat and set aside. Separate the flesh of the eggplant from the skin and place flesh into blender or food processor. Add tahini, lemon juice, sauted garlic and onions. olive oil, parsley and salt and pepper. Blend or pulse. Scrape sides down and repeat until desired consistency. Season to taste and eat. Pretty yummy stuff )

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