September 30, 2009

Petit Aubergine

The Belmont (CA) farmers' market is not as large as many in the Bay Area; but it has its loyal followers and some delightful finds for them.

One of my favorite things about farmers' markets is the discovery of new varieties of produce, from ingredients I never knew existed to unusual types of common ingredients (such as Armenian striped cucumbers). In the supermarket, one is lucky to find eggplant at all, and then usually only the giant dark purple (aubergine) variety. If the store considers itself gourmet, a few of the long, slender Japanese variety may be offered. But never, ever, have I seen the reddish, petit type we found in Belmont. Not quite too cute to eat (what is?), they inspire me to think in new ways about how to prepare eggplant, beyond the usual stir-fry, baked parmesan, and roasting for baba janoush options. From diversity comes inspiration.

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