Harvest Moon Harvest

The harvest moon has been shining bright the past few nights, but I harvested these eggplants during the day. Over half a bushel!
Vardaman the cat endorses these eggplants
There's more out there too. This is the first successful eggplant crop for me. We started them in late May with fabric row covers that gave us a head start and also protected the plants from flea beetles, which usually devour my baby eggplant seedlings within a week. In late June or early July, when the plants were ready to flower, we took off the row covers. Nothing really happened until August, when suddenly there were eggplants everywhere!
Some of them, I grilled and pressure-canned. The USDA does not recommend canning eggplant at all, so hopefully we will not get botulism when we make baba ghanoush all winter. I made a batch of baba ghanoush to eat right away too, of course. Here's how:
4-5 small-medium eggplants
1 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1-3 cloves of garlic (you can probably guess where I stand on the garlic spectrum)
salt & pepper
parsley (chopped)
Roast or grill the eggplants until they are mushy. Let them cool and scrape the mushy insides into the bowl of your food processor. Add the tahini, garlic, and olive oil and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in parsley last so the whole thing doesn't turn green. Eat it on pita, with crudite, or on sandwiches.
The larger eggplants I will slice, blanch, and freeze for eggplant parm, stir fries, lasagna, etc. We have been making a lot of ratatouille. Ratatouille is the perfect end-of-summer food. All the ingredients are ripe and abundant in my garden right now. Here's today's half-bushel of tomatoes:
Vardaman, quality-control veggie inspector
Don't worry, I'll wash those tomatoes before I do anything with them. Today's tomato project is marinara sauce. I already canned some whole tomatoes, ketchup, and salsa that turned out so spicy we've been using it as hot sauce. The juiciest tomatoes, though, will be reserved for ratatouille. Here's the recipe we've been using:
2 small-medium eggplants
2 small-medium zucchinis
2-3 red peppers
2 juicy tomatoes
1 big onion
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
olive oil
Slice all veggies as thin as you can. Use a sharp knife! Brush the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of tomatoes. Next, arrange slices of the eggplant over the tomatoes. The next layer is onions, then peppers, then zucchini slices. If you have lots of veggies left over, do another round of tomatoes, eggplants, etc. Sprinkle some thyme, salt, and pepper on top, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, or until all veggies are tender and juicy, but not mushy. We serve it with couscous, quinoa, and/or good crusty bread, with a dollop of chevre on top.
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