Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shoya Long Eggplants

So I just had the most delicious eggplant I have ever eaten (yes, for breakfast; breakfast eggplant is awesome). I planted a number of varieties of eggplant in the garden this year, among them the shoya long eggplant, which came highly recommended for yield and flavour. Boy is it ever delivering on both counts! The plant I have is blooming still and also has about 40 developing eggplantlings on it. Yep. So this morning the first one was ready to be picked. I picked it, and cooked it up right away.

And it was the most phenomenal eggplant experience I have ever had. It was so silky, and so richly flavoured, that I couldn't quite believe at first that I hadn't accidentally ingested a hallucinogenic eggplant. To be clear, I love eggplant. I eat it at least once a week and spend a lot of my cooking endeavours trying new ways to eat eggplant. So when I say that this eggplant was the best eggplant I've ever had, I mean it was practically a transcendental experience.

I may be exaggerating slightly.

So, without further ado, here's the eggplant, and instructions for how to cook it the way I did this morning.

Shoya long eggplant
 So I wanted to cook it in a way that would bring out the flavour of the eggplant, since I'd never had this eggplant before and wanted to know exactly what it tastes like. As a consequence, the following recipe is very simple and takes about 5-10 minutes. Also, it's in my cooking style, which means I measure exactly nothing.

-Olive oil (enough to coat your pan lightly)
-Garlic (to taste)
-Basil (to taste)
-Oregano (to taste)
-Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
-Salt (to taste)

-Cut eggplant into rounds about 1/4" thick
-Mince garlic and let air for a few minutes
-Chop basil & oregano up finely (about 1/10th as much oregano as basil)
-Heat frying pan with a dollop of olive oil; hot pan, for sautéeing
-Toss eggplant rounds into frying pan & cover
-When the rounds start to soften, toss them around a bit
-Throw on a dash of balsamic vinegar and stir it through the eggplant (be sparing at first! that stuff tastes strong and you don't want to overpower the delicious, delicious eggplant flavour)
-Pitch in the herbs and a dash of water (no more than a few Tbsp of water, just enough to deglaze the balsamic off the bottom of the pan so it can be redistributed onto the eggplant)
-Once the eggplant is soft, remove cover, stir, and cook until the water is evaporated from the pan
-Salt to taste

End result:
The most delicious eggplant I've ever eaten
Pour les francophones:

Je vais juste remarquer que je ne mesure rien en préparant mes plâts (à l'exception de la cuisson au four), préférant plutôt de me fier au goût et à la scenteur pour ajuster les quantités. Par conséquence, je ne peux pas vous fournir des mesures de quantité dans mes recettes. Mes excuses.

-Huile d'olive (assez pour couvrir le fond de la poêle)
-Ail (à son goût)
-Basilic (à son goût)
-Origan (à son goût)
-Vinaigre balsamique (à son goût)
-Sel (à son goût)

-Couper les aubergines en rondelles d'environ 1/4'' de large
-Hacher l'ail et laisser à l'air pour quelques minutes
-Hacher le basilic et l'origan (l'origan devrait représenter environ 1/10ième de la quantité du basilic)
-Rechauffer la poêle avec l'huile d'olive dedans (assez chaud pour sauter)
-Y jetter les aubergines, remuer, et couvrir
-Quand l'aubergine commence à amollir, remuer encore
-Ajouter un peu de vinaigre balsamique (faire attention! Ce vinaigre goûte très fort et on ne veut pas déguiser le goût délicieux de l'aubergine)
-Ajouter le basilic, l'origan, et l'ail avec un peu d'eau (pas plus que quelques cuillères à table, juste asser pour déglacer le vinaigre)
-Quand l'aubergine est devenue molle, découvrir, remuer, et laisser cuire jusqu'à temps que l'eau a toute évaporie
-Ajouter du sel à son goût

Bon appétit! Le résultat final est présenté ci-haut.

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