My best summer crop has been eggplant which I must remember to call aubergine because it is a much cooler word. I remember hearing or reading an interview with Joanne Harris who said the American publisher of Chocolat wanted to replace her use of aubergine with eggplant and she refused because – well aubergine is a prettier word!
I have done next to nothing to look after my aubergines. It has been a hot hot hot summer and I have watered them a lot and very very very occasionally found the energy to fertilise them. It has been a case of set and forget and then eat ratatouille. In particular Jamie Oliver’s Ratatouille.
I have learned over the years of my half-arsed lazy gardening to focus on growing things that have a payoff. For instance, I do not bother with capsicum (a prettier word than pepper) because mine never get as big as the ones in the supermarket and there is no taste difference. Unlike mangoes which require significant effort to keep the fruit fly away but mine taste six zillion times better than the ones in the shops.
Aubergine falls in this category. Often the ones I buy, while shiny, end up being seedy and old. Freshly picked they are much nicer and do not require pre-salting to remove bitterness. I did hear a TV chef/cook say recently ‘where there is eggplant there should be salt’ so I always put some salt on when I cook them.
I am running out of ideas of what to cook with my aubergines. Any suggestions?