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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Base Plant

The diva of the vegetable scene, at least in my book is the versatile and lovely eggplant. Its rich, luxurious color and shiny skin makes for a showy piece in the garden. Besides its great looks, the flavor of eggplant, if done right, is what makes it outstanding.

Need an easy base to start with when it comes to cooking eggplant? Roast it. Not only is this process simple, roasted eggplant has a sweetness that adds delicious to any fall meal.  All the bitterness that can be found in this vegetable seems to be lost when roasted with a drizzling of olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Don’t forget to line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil for effortless clean-up.

A few more directions: set the oven at 350 degrees, slice eggplant in quarters, drizzle with the olive oil, flavor with salt and pepper and roast until brown. Depending on size, it can take ½ hour to an hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Put in a container and refrigerate for the week’s menu. You can add this roasted eggplant to any dish. Get creative.

Because the eggplant is already sweetly cooked, all you need to do is warm it, making it a great base plant to grow and eat from your veggie garden. So if you failed to plant the diva vegetable, make sure you plan ahead for next year. You’ll be glad when you are arranging the weekly dinner menu.

William Lyon Phelps’ words sum up this base plant best.  “A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.” Interpretation - when you roast eggplant, you’ll find a whole new flavor expanding! And your dinner menu will resemble a well-ordered life. Now get roasting!

Image by Ann Bilowz

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)