Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lavender Touch Eggplant

I have grown many varieties of eggplant- the standard black beauty, Ichiban Asian, green ad white, but none have been as productive as Lavender Touch eggplant (I got the seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds at www.superseeds.com though I am sure other companies carry them). Sometimes eggplant can be difficult to grow- you have to wait until it really warms up to plant them, about 2 weeks after the last frost date. They can be plagued by flea beetles if not grown under cover until they are big enough to outgrow the beetle damage. They are relatively heavy feeders. But this particular eggplant, aside from being lovely and tasty, is very productive in my central VA garden. This year my efforts to grow it under cover were foiled by my dog and many birds who tore at the floating row cover and the plants still took off and are pumping out fruit even in this hot weather!
Eggplants can be roasted and preserved for winter eating in baba ganooj (that tasty eggplant spread often on mezze plates) or Indian and Asian dishes that require roasted eggplant. Simply wash and top the eggplant, dry it, place in a roasting pan that has been brushed with olive oil. Brush the skin of the eggplants with more olive oil and sprinkle with some salt (I use large grain sea salt). Roast in a 350 degree oven for 45 mins, allow to cool, scrape out and freeze the flesh. Yum!
Happy gardening (and eating!)

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