Leaf of the Day:Thai Aubergines/Eggplant

A few stripy Thai Aubergines, which have been turning brown in a container in the fridge, but I did like the shapes and their rather comical interaction. When I put them out on the table they looked as though they were having a conversation. They were a possibility for the veg submission but are past their best and really too similar to the fruit. It was a shame to waste them though.

The aubergines or eggplants are from the nightshade family Solanaceae, related to the tomato and potato.

Super photo of these beautiful purple and white Thai eggplant flowers by Kay Ess from Wikipedia here

I must admit I am not a great fan of aubergine except cooked the Andalucian way, Berenjena con Miel, fried and served drizzled with honey. This is the old Moorish way of cooking them and apparently they were introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages, the scientific name Solanum melongena being derived from a 16th century Arabic term.

I seldom cook them at home probably because I don’t really understand how to use them.
Here is an explanation about how to make the best of these particular little Thai characters from “Everything2. com” here

“Eggplant becomes exceptionally porous when cooked. It soaks up any oil or liquid it is cooked in. Too often, people try to fry eggplant when the pan isn’t hot enough or bake it for a slender time. The result is a soggy, bitter mess without flavor, borderline call for take out.
When selecting a Thai eggplant, look for smooth, taught skin with little give. Ensure that the calyx is intact and firmly attached. The sepals should be hugging the eggplant, rough and green. To cook, remove the stem and spiky leaf parts by tearing off. Quarter the small orb and scrape away the brown seeds with a side of a spoon. Add to curry or bake or fry. If adding to curry, wait until the last bubble of the coconut milk when you add the basil leaves. If frying, make sure your pan is hot, put the end of a wooden spoon in the hot oil and if it bubbles around, add your vegetable. If baking, coat with olive oil on a baking sheet, salt and season and wait half an hour until the flesh becomes translucent.
A baby Thai eggplant, along with Thai basil and Kaffir limes is a wonderful compliment to the green curries

Sketchbook page and a more detailed drawing…

Some Asian Eggplants