50 shades of……purple!

dear shoppers, I'm aging myself here, but, this time of year, when the eggplant spills out of the market bins the market starts to look like a Dead concert. Purple everywhere!

Eggplant  (large, small, plump or stretched thin, solid or striated) is probably one of the meatiest, most versatile vegetables around. Too often, this nutty nightshade gets a bad rap for its thick skin. But that's an easy fix in the cooking.

And the health benefits? GREAT brain food and packed with anti-oxidants, the eggplant truly is a SUPER vegetable.

Last year, Mark Bittman wrote this fantastic piece on the eggplant's many virtues for the New York Times, a must-read if you think the eggplant should be relegated to ratatouille or caponata.


Also here's a fantastic recipe from Fine Cooking for an open faced eggplant sandwich made with walnuts, olives and burrata  (or mozzarella...). You can substitute with goat cheese, natch. Perfect with a side tomato salad - eggplant and tomato are as classic a pairing as, well, Bogart and Bacall.

Also purple and delicious: a wide variety of plums, including sweet, juicy Vampire plums - don't be put off by the name - at the Orchards of Concklin tent.

See you at the market!