Valley Bounty: Eggplant
There’s a role that players on baseball teams occasionally fill called a “utility player”, meaning that, unlike most players, they routinely play a variety of different positions. Their value to the team comes from their adaptability to whatever the team happens to need at the moment.
I’m going to call eggplant a “utility vegetable”. Its real strength lies in its ability to slide into any gap in your meal’s starting lineup. Need an appetizer? Swap eggplant for chickpeas in your favorite hummus recipe for an easy and delicious Baba Ghanoush. Need a main course? Grilled or fried eggplant slices make great veggie burgers and don’t need much prep. Need a side dish? Julienned eggplant tossed in breadcrumbs, parmesan, and a dash of chili powder and baked make a great substitute for French fries. There’s even an Italian dessert called “Melanzane al Cioccolato”, which is a sweet casserole made from fried eggplant, chocolate, ricotta, orange, crushed cookies, and almonds. Eggplant might not be showing up on the Wheaties box any time soon, but I think its versatility earns it a spot on the bench. You never know when you might need it to step up to the plate.
Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)