Eggplant – A mini glut

I spent a bit of time this afternoon in a valiant attempt to photograph some eggplants.  I don’t have a lot of time to do my photography.  I try to slot it in during TV watching time but the average length of an ABC for Kids show is about 10 minutes – unless its Play School, then I get close to half an hour.

Eggplants are really hard to photograph I’ve discovered.  Their reflective skins seem to play havoc with the camera and although my camera is a digital SLR, the lens is pre digital and doesn’t communicate well enough with the body for me to adjust any of the settings.  This means I have to rely on what the camera comes up with and with eggplant it doesn’t seem to come up with anything very spectacular.   I tried a number of different options to help it along (Play school was on at photography time today).  Shade, sun, on a colourful tray, against a pale background.  Not sure which worked best but I know I wont be trying the in the sun concept again….



Anyway I was really keen to photograph the eggplants as I have completely failed to photograph tonight’s dish.

I’ve harvested about  2kg of eggplant in the past week or so.  Not a ridiculous amount by any means, but enough that I have had to put some thought into what I’m going to make with it.  I’ve made a couple of eggplant curries, some involtini and my old favourite standby dip – baba ganoush.  It is this last one that I am going to share with you today.

The name Baba ganoush is a transliteration of the Arabic name for what essentially an eggplant puree.  Baba ganoush is eaten throughout the Middle East, although there are regional variations in the recipe.  There are also very similar dishes in Turkey and parts of Eastern Europe.  What all have in common is that the eggplant is pureed (usually after roasting and blackening) and combined with garlic, an acid – usually lemon juice but I have seen recipes with vinegar in them, and salt.  Other common flavourings are: tahini, chilli, parsley, and cumin.

Baba Ganoush

  • 1 large eggplant (mine are Bonica)
  • 1 tsp tahini (or to taste)
  • 1 clove of garlic – crushed
  • 1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pinch salt

Keeping the eggplant whole roast it over a flame so that the skin blackens*.   Leave to cool a bit then remove the skin.  Place the eggplant and all the other ingredients in a food processor.  Whizz.  Taste and adjust seasoning, lemon juice and tahini if necessary.  Allow to cool completely.  Serve.  I like it with a bit of finely chopped parsley and eat it with bread – ideally Turkish.

*There are a number of ways to do the roasting:

I often put it in the oven to cook, then put it on the BBQ grill to blacken.  Alternatively you could do it all on the BBQ.  If you have a gas cooker and some tongs you can hold it over the gas ring, turning periodically, until cooked – about 20 mins or so.  Or most excitingly (I’m presuming); if you have a blow torch like L then you could always use it.

To see what others are cooking up this week head on over to the Gardener of Eden’s place.

This entry was posted in Autumn Harvesting, Chillies, Capsicum & Eggplant, Recipes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Eggplant – A mini glut

  1. Gardenglut says:

    Mmmm, yum… you know already that I am an eggplant obsessive. I love eggplant but agree they ARE hard to photopgraph, that lovely dark shiny skin, but y0u have done a great job.

    Anyway the most important thing is how you eat them – baba ganoush is brilliant, I agree. Did you know that the Turkish have a saying about eggplant that, while I find difficult on gender grounds, on the other hand says something of the importance of eggplant. It goes somethign like this… if a woman can make eggplant in 100 different ways then she will satisfy her husband. If any one knows the authentic quote I’d be grateful! Ditch the gender stuff and think of how important the eggplant is! Isnt it great!

    • Liz says:

      Love the concept and I can overlook the gender role profiling if you can. I do have one problem though – my partner doesn’t particularly like eggplant…

  2. Daphne says:

    Sadly I’m not a big eggplant fan. I have grown it just for its beauty though. I love how eggplants look, but you are right. Very hard to photograph.

    • Liz says:

      For me eggplant can be one of the most enjoyable thing to eat and also one of the most disgusting. I find undercooked eggplant truly horrible.

  3. Lrong says:

    First time to hear about Baba ganoush… have not grown eggplants that much but shall be doing so this coming season… good effort with the photos…

  4. Bumblelush says:

    I love baba ganoush! I’ve never grown eggplant, I don’t think we eat it enough to get any coveted space in my limited container garden. I do enjoy seeing it at the farmers’ market though. I like purple vegetables. 🙂 Maybe next time I buy one I’ll try to make my own baba ganoush.

    • Liz says:

      Its really easy to make and like anything is often better when freshly made. It is a really visually appealing vegetable isn’t it?

  5. Leanne says:

    I like the first photo, of the eggplants in the basket. I like the textures of the basket against the shininess of the eggplant. I would imagine the sun would be hard on such a shiny surface. Do you have a external flash for your camera?

    • Liz says:

      No, no external flash. I do like the idea of using eggplants to show texture though – I might have a play with that idea when I next get a chance.

      • Leanne says:

        I will have a think and see if I can help you with your photography. Can you tell me what sort of camera you have, make model. I know you are limited with your lens, but there might be other ways.

  6. Robin says:

    Purple and blue can be very tricky to photograph.

    I have never made this before. I am copying this recipe so when the eggplants start in this part of the world. I will have something different to make. Have you ever made Eggplant Caponata? I make some every year and can it. It’s a nice side dish.

    • Liz says:

      I have made Caponata but not for quite awhile – thanks for the suggestion – something for the upcoming week I think.

  7. Mrs Bok says:

    Ooooooooooooooohhhh your eggplant looks so delicious and shiny and plump! I only seem to make curries and baked miso eggplant with mine. Which are not a patch on yours at all!

  8. Jody says:

    We have lots of eggplant planned this year. This is definitely a recipe we’ll have to try. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Diana says:

    Nice harvest there. I found bonica type very reliable. It has been our main producer this year. I must try baba ganoush.

  10. I’ve we get a couple of aubergines (your egg plants) we’ll be happy!

    Black is a difficult colour to photograph – I think that you done well to capture them as you have!

  11. Jo says:

    It took me three attempts to get an aubergine (egg plant) plant to fruit. I don’t think they like our summers, too cool for them, even in the greenhouse. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  12. Norma Chang says:

    That’s quite an eggplant harvest and your photos look great. I only grow one variety of Chinese eggplant (Ping Tung) due to limited space, but I get the other varieties from Locust Grove where I am a volunteer.

  13. KL says:

    I love eggplant. Do you guys also call it eggplant? Or Brinjal? I can eat anything made with Eggplant. By the way, have you ever baigaan bharta (eggplant-bharta, not sure what’s the english of bharta) – it’s an Indian dish that is made with roasted eggplant; lots of different recipes exist for it also.

  14. I also really like aubergine/egg plant and absolutely agree-underdone it is disgusting!!

    I love making aubergine pates and purees-such as Baba Ganoush. I find it particularly nice to spread a thick layer in a sandwich and top with lots of salad leaves. There is something very satisfying about the contrast in texture between the creamy puree and the crunchy salad leaves!

  15. Jay says:

    Your photos and thoughts are great. Probably the most satisfying thing about vegetable gardening is to say that something you are eating came from your own plot. I really enjoyed the post!

  16. mireille says:

    Eggplants. One of my top 5 veggies. Yum!
    Incidently, have you tried growing your own seasame seeds. The plants look interesting.

  17. kitsapFG says:

    I am the only one in my family that likes eggplant so I never grow them as I cannot manage to eat all that I grow even if I am modest in the amount I plant. I do like them though and your recipe looks like a good one. They are such a beautiful plant that they are certainly worth growing just as an ornamental.

    • Liz says:

      I too am the only one who likes eggplant but as I’m also the only one who gardens I think thats OK. Actually I’ve convinced Miss 5 that she likes a few dishes with it in so perhaps I will have another convert.

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