My husband makes this great meal that is a variation on eggplant lasagna. I love the crunchy exterior and creamy interior of each breaded and fried piece of eggplant. It doesn't hurt that it's layered in his special tomato sauce and cheese.
Eggplants were one of the first heat loving plants that I figured out how to grow in the Ottawa regions. They are resource hungry but the right variety and respect for their need for space to mine these resources has given me great crops most years. I also use plastic mulch as per sweet potatoes though this year I'm going to grow a row without to compare. The best book I've read to help with heat lovers is Ken Allan's Sweet Potato Book.
This year, I had two eggplant projects on the go. One based on long-asian varieties and another on smaller European tear shaped ones. The long variety that I had preformed adequately this year though not as well as in 2015. My favourite was definitely derived from seed sent to me as dehybridized Ophelia.
Seedlings were robust and vigorous and they managed to cope adequately with the drought. I was also happy to see at least three flushes of fruit.
I chose some of the best fruits and let them mature to collect seeds. My favourite seed cleaning technique with eggplant is to use a cheap blender. I scrape the mature flesh in, add some water, and blend for about three seconds. It needs to be a cheap blender or you might end up with seed mush. After that, I add more water, drain off the pulp and then strain the water and seeds. The seeds are dried on a paper plate before packaging.
This is one project I'm always happy to expand because more eggplant just means more of my husband's delicious meals, more ratatouille and more baba ganoush.
2017 Eggplant plans
This year, I plan on continuing the selection process and deciding on the range of characteristics. Low input growing is a must but also useful size, early harvest and good taste will be in there. I'll also have to figure out a name - something from Shakespeare I think.
Seeds are available at the shop.
All about growing, selecting and using edible plants in the Ottawa valley.