This time on “why did I buy a whole box of this vegetable?”: what to do with six eggplants?
Cheruko is harvesting her eggplants–many, many eggplants. She brought eleven of them to dinner a couple weeks ago to distribute, and I took six. My go-to recipes when I am cooking for myself are Italian- and French-style dishes that pair the eggplants with tomatoes, basil, and parsley: ratatouille, gratin, vegetable lasagna. When I am alone in kitchen with an eggplant, these are the dishes I make. However, the texture of these dishes is, unfortunately, precisely what our spouses dislike about eggplants. (Though mine does like Summer Pasta with Eggplant Sauce because the eggplant is cooked down a lot.)
Instead of swapping dinner partners for the duration of the harvest, we brainstormed ways to eat eggplants that would change the texture and feature different flavor profiles than the standard eggplant-tomato-basil that I like so much. (It’s a standard for a reason!) In Japanese cooking, miso and eggplant and pickled eggplant are staples of the summer, but that didn’t fix the texture issue. However, one thing that the Indian restaurants of Kanazawa do exceedingly well is to make curries out of any local vegetable: kabocha, lotus root, eggplant–and if they could do it, why couldn’t I?