My one Hansel Eggplant bush has been a powerhouse performer this year! It has already provided over 30 fruit and it continues to flower and produce more. Since the temperatures have been dropping below 40 degrees at night, I moved it from the raised bed garden and to my container garden. This allows me to move it, along with the peppers and tomatoes, indoors at night, so the plants will continue to produce fresh vegetables for my family. This is my first time including eggplant in my container garden, so I am looking forward to seeing how it does over the winter. I have been very impressed with this compact little plant and will definitely include Hansel Eggplant in my garden next year!
One of my favorite ways to use eggplant is in Eggplant Rice Bake. It is a hearty meatless dish and since I use vegetables and herbs from the garden, it is fairly inexpensive to make.
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup squash puree (or cottage cheese)
splash of tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons diced bell pepper
3 cups diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups eggplant, chopped
1 cup yellow squash, chopped
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Place a splash of olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. Cook over a medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, spices, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncover to cook off excess liquid (about 5 minutes).
Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix rice with vegetables puree and press half of it into the baking dish. Layer with half of the tomato mixture. Add half of the squash and eggplant, then cover with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers of the rice, tomato mixture, eggplant and squash, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Some more of our favorites recipes using Eggplant:
Eggplant Pizza Bites
Angel Hair Pasta with Garden Vegetables
Spicy Sesame Stir-Fry
To see how other gardeners are using their eggplant, visit Grow.Eat.$ave at $5 Dinners.