On the way home, as I approached my driveway, I looked over at the pasture. The recent rain has greened up everything to a hue so vivid the pastures shone like emeralds. The wooden fence with the waving weeds intertwined with purple morning glories created its own living fence. Amid the greenery on the fence post was a bright red cardinal. I was glad to see him, a previous local yard cat had killed one and chased the others off. It’s nice to see them returning.
|I snapped this from quite a distance and while walk-jogging. Sorry for the poor quality. He flew off before I could get a better one.|
The fence is a little way down from my driveway, so I parked, left my bags by the mailbox as I went by and checked it, and hustled to walk close enough to grab a photo before the bird flew off. I snapped on from a great distance but then he spotted me and went his way.
Just then the mailman trundled down the street. I live on a one-way street and it’s a short street, so there is little traffic. I had put my camera bag and purse down on the ground by the mailbox when I came out to snap the photo of the bird, so I hustled to pick it up so he’d have room.
He had an Amazon package for me. Amazon Prime day was a couple of days ago, after all, lol. So we chatted for a while. The weather, the heat. He asked if the neighbors still lived on the other side of the house but I said, no they moved. It wasn’t a long chat. He had a route and a schedule to keep after all. But it was an American sort of morning, the breakfast joint, then admiring the rural beauty around me, the chat by the side of the road...
It’s garden season here in Georgia. That means people have veggies galore and lots of people share. I am in possession of three large eggplants at this moment. What to do?
I chopped up an onion and put it into a large stock pot with some oil. I turned the heat on medium. While the onions were browning, I diced two of the eggplants into cubes. I had two orange peppers rolling around in the fridge so I chopped them up as well.
The thing with eggplants, is they take on the flavor of what you put them with. Their flesh has a sponge-like consistency that soaks up whatever you put with it, including oil. That’s why if you’re frying them in slices, do not use a fork to turn them over because the tines will poke a hole and the oil will soak into the flesh. The flesh is also gray, not an appetizing color on a dish. So that is why I chopped up the orange peppers- to add some color.
When the onions had turned translucent, I added the cubed eggplant and a little water. Stir well. Add salt. Stir again. I covered it to retain the moisture as the eggplant cooked down.
Meanwhile I chopped cherry tomatoes.
I had bought a huge tub of greens on sale. The tub contained spinach, chard, mizuna, and kale. It was organic. It was a huge tub. I saw that I was not going to be able to finish the greens before they went bad. I added them to the pot of onions, peppers, and eggplant.
Both the eggplant and greens reduce a lot. When I added the pile of cubed eggplant it came to the top of the pot, When I added the greens, same thing. But they reduce. When the greens have wilted, add the tomatoes.
The key is to let the now mixed eggplant-onions-peppers-greens cook slowly. This lets the flavors blend. You can add what spices you like, but Italian spices make the most sense. I covered it, turned the heat to medium low, and let it do its thing.
At the end when I was almost ready, I took the cover off to allow the remaining liquid to evaporate.
The is a dish that’s good with cheese on top, or with pasta added in, or rice, or atop a good toasted Italian bread like focaccia or ciabatta. Make a submarine sandwich out of it by adding cooked pepperoni or cubed Italian ham. It’s versatile, and best of all, it uses a LOT of eggplant!
I have one more week of summer break. We go back on July 30. I am enjoying this summer break 2018 so very much.