They sat on my countertop for nearly a week. I would admire their cuteness while contemplating the best method of preparing them. I finally decided they would be best served with an interesting stuffing.
Unfortunately, the lovely baby white eggplants did not take me to the land of unicorns, rainbows and glitter where everything is wonderful. It was a complete bust. Bummer!
Eggplant is hands down my all time favorite vegetable. No contest. Eggplant is so versatile. They are delicious grilled, baked, sautéed, or fried. We are not huge meat eaters at our house so eggplant is one of our 'go to' vegetables because it has a great texture similar to muscle (meat) as well as a great flavor.
I set off on my baby white eggplant preparation adventure by baking them for 20 minutes. It was quite a surprise to find the white peel had turned brown. "Hmmm..." is all I could say to myself. I was disappointed that they did not retain their color and continued down the path to preparing them into something interesting.
The next step was to hollow the eggplants, leaving approximately 1/4 inch flesh inside the skin. The hollowed out portion was diced and combined with cooked black rice, diced tomato and cheese. The mixture was packed into the eggplant 'shell' and baked an additional 10 minutes, just until warmed.
To say the end product was 'meh' would be complimentary. The problem? They were bitter and astringent to the point that they were inedible. I have not had such a negative experience with eggplant. Ever. It was very disappointing.
I discussed what I will now refer to as 'the unfortunate baby white eggplant defeat' with my husband. (I could tell that he was thinking that I shouldn't have purchased a new veggie without doing some homework first.) I mentioned that I was still going to post it on my blog. He seemed a little surprised that I would air my less than stellar escapades in the kitchen.
There are a few reasons why I don't mind admitting defeat by cute white eggplants:
- I am no Martha Stewart. My efforts don't always end up perfect and I'm fine with that.
- My teenage daughter says that I will gain more respect from my audience if I am honest with my reviews. (That is an interesting perspective from someone who is only 13.) I have never had a problem with brutal honesty, which I have to say isn't always a good characteristic. I know there are some carnivores will read this post and will be saying "See? If you had grilled a steak for dinner you wouldn't have been defeated by baby white eggplant." (You know who you are.) They would be correct.
- Nothing ventured nothing gained. I know a lot of people that eat the same thing over and over and over. How boring. I like to branch out and try new things. It's fun and usually results in something at least edible and acceptable, even if it doesn't make it to my 'Make This Again!' list. Sometimes ends in a complete bust as it did with the baby white eggplant.
Not all of my kitchen experiments end up working in a positive manner, but they do work. What worked here? I learned that baby white eggplants are not appropriate for stuffing. And I learned that maybe my husband is right. I should do a little homework prior to trying something new. (Please do not tell him I said that.) I will do a little investigating on how to prepare small white eggplant. Maybe I just purchased a bad batch. Maybe not.
That being said, if there is anyone out there who has had a positive experience - or even a negative experience - with baby white eggplant I would certainly like to hear about it. I would love to give these cute little veggies a second chance!