Valley Bounty: Eggplant
Grilling is one of the best ways to enjoy eggplant—it keeps the heat outdoors, and lets you appreciate the contrast between the smoky grilled exterior and eggplant’s soft and delicious flesh. Grilled eggplant is also a good way to enjoy fresh summer herbs. Try serving it drizzled with chopped cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and lime, or with chopped fresh oregano, garlic, and oil for a spicy contrast.
Find local eggplant at farms and farmers’ markets near you.
I generally freeze some grilled or roasted eggplant and use it in lasagna or other dishes in the winter. I particularly like this eggplant and parsley pesto lasagna, which is really easy to put together in the winter if you froze the eggplant and pesto in the summer.
In addition, I learned to freeze eggplant puree from local blogger Meggin Thwing Eastman. She has various ideas for using it on her excellent blog, Happy Valley Locavore, including a delicious fall pizza with bacon and pears.
Former CISA staffer Abby Getman is a fan of dehydrated eggplant. She cuts it into ¼ slices, salts it, dries it in a dehydrator until thin and crisp, and uses it in soups and stews.