Saturday, November 3

Deep Fried Last Harvest

Fall seems so be winding slowly into winter. We've had our first freezes and the garden plants have all been pulled out and prepped for composting (thrown in a big pile).

Something else is happening that happens every year. At least I seem to see a pattern forming in my blog posts. I once again feel the irrepresseable need to share a recipe about a lesser known fall vegetable. This year we had Eggplants coming out our ears and with such abundance I tried giving them away. However I quickly realized that a lot of people don't know quite what to do with an eggplant. I think I may have just discovered my second most favorite way to eat it. I adore Eggplant. From it's deep hues of purple to its soft-butter texture when cooked right. My very most favorite is simple: cubed, steamed, with butter and Sea Salt. But coming in at close second is today's creation: Eggplant Tempura.

I started out with a bundle of tiny remnants of my vegetable forest. As I pulled out each cold-withered plant and threw it onto the compost pile, my four-year-old called out with delight as she discovered baby fruits on the plants I threw, most still clinging to flowers, making tiny white nipple on the ends of the eggplants. The tomatoes were just sad, as unripe tomatoes are just sad that way. My first thought was fried green tomatoes, but there were tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and even a few tiny green butternut babies. And so you have a recipe:


  • Coconut Oil for frying.  Heat to 325 degrees F.
  • Garden Vegetables: especially tiny baby eggplants, green tomatoes, and sweet peppers. If the vegetables are thicker than 1 inch, cut into finger size pieces.
  • Batter
          1 egg
          3/4 c Whole Wheat Flour
          1/4 c. Corn Starch
          1 tsp baking powder
          1 tsp. salt
          1/2 c water, add more to get to a
          runny but sticky consistency

Mix with blender or food processor and pour into a deep, narrow bowl. Batter vegetables and fry. We used fondue sticks since it was only my husband and myself. Remember that whole wheat doesn't brown the same way as white flour and takes longer to brown. With this and the lower heat of the coconut oil I found it's not a bad thing that the tomatoes really needed longer to cook. Pull out of the oil when slightly golden colored. The great thing about Coconut Oil is that it's not only a very healthy fat but it doesn't taste like some oils do when they permeate a food, oily and stale. It leaves a pleasantly crispy texture without the greasiness that comes commonly with fried food.  I served ours with a honey mustard sauce made with my home made mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and honey.

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