Oh boy, eggplant for dinner again?! Yes, and you’ll like it too! Growing your own veggies really tunes you into the idea of “in season”. August is the season for eggplants. As the weather cools, and the days shorten, eggplants give one last push to ripen before the fall. This is great: grilled, stir fries, sauteed, stuffed, rolled up with feta cheese and baked in marina sauce, ratatouille: you get the idea.
The thing i’ve found with eggplant is that it doesn’t freeze very well on its own. It has a ton of water in it, and the thawed out version of eggplant is very mushy. If you were to freeze it (since your friends grew weary of you handing them eggplants every time you see them…), you’d need to cook it first, freezing prepared dishes. Ratatouille (a French vegetable stew) is a great way to use up the late summer glut of eggplants, along with tomatoes, onions, and zucchini. It looses some of it’s texture after freezing, but it fairs pretty well.
One of my favorite ways to use up eggplants is baba ganoush. This is basically the eggplant version of hummus, and is delicious, especially when made at home. I halved them, brushing liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Since it’s hot and there are so many (i did 7 eggplants), i grilled them. Nt only does this keep the kitchen cool, but i like that smokey charred flavor. Brown them cut side down for a few minutes, then flip over and finish grilling. Let them cool a bit and scoop out the pulp, leaving behind as much skin as possible. Toss it into the blender with the other ingredients in a few batches, put it into tupperware after totally cooled and freeze. You’re all set for a summer treat in the midst of winter!