... when you wait too long to pick your eggplant! I'm ashamed to even admit it - I had two beautiful, glossy purple eggplants hanging from my plant, but I kept procrastinating picking them because I just didn't know how I wanted to prepare them. I know they're best eaten immediately after harvesting, so I didn't want to pick them until I was ready to cook them. I had tried cooking eggplant a few years ago, and wasn't impressed, but since them I have collected a number of yummy-sounding recipes. So, even though I was determined to find a better way to prepare this gorgeous produce, I just didn't have the time or mental energy to tackle it. Then, the plant blew over in a rainstorm and ended up being hidden by a huge bunch of kale; I basically forgot about it until the other evening when I was cleaning up the garden.
Since I had been so irresponsible in letting these precious vegetables get this mature, I decided I would eat them anyway as pennance. I remembered an Italian co-worker telling me that mature eggplants are fine to use as long as you peel them. So, I selected one of the eggplants, held my breath and cut it open, expecting it to be brown and nasty-looking inside.
It wasn't! In fact, it looked just fine to me (but what would I know?!). I proceeded - I peeled it, cut it into cubes, tossed it in olive oil and and roasted it (my favorite way to cook any vegetable these days).
I was very pleasantly suprised to find that not only was it edible, it was delicious!! (No pennance whatsoever!) The texture was perfect, and it wasn't even bitter! (I'm sure the roasting helped to sweeten any bitterness.) I was so, so pleased! I simply tossed it with some fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, a roasted red pepper and some wonderful sweet balsamic viniagrette. (This basically ended up being a simple version of one of recipes I had collected.) You can view my recipe (if that's what you call it!) here.