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Eggplant bacon?

A homegrown organic eggplant

Two days ago, a friend sent me a Facebook video on making vegan bacon from eggplant. The next day, when I took a dozen surplus eggs to friends (among the few superb gardeners in the county who can outgarden the abbey when Ken is in residence) they gave me eggplants, green peppers, and fresh-picked native muscadine grapes. I took the eggplant coincidence as a hint that, now that the weather is cooler, it’s time to get back to experimenting in the kitchen.

Eggplant bacon seems to be a vegan staple. My version of it was very tasty — smoky and nicely seasoned — but I just couldn’t get it crisp. If you’d like to try, here’s a recipe.

For this recipe, I got out the kitchen implement that I despise and fear the most — the mandolin. But, much as I hate the mandolin, it did an excellent job of making the 1/8-inch slices of eggplant. The seasoning and marinating are a snap. Baking the eggplant is no big deal. But even though I baked the eggplant 15 minutes longer than the recipe requested, the bacon was still flabby. Still, it was tasty enough that I may try it again. Next time, I’ll probably extend the drying part at 225 degrees. Then I’ll spray on some olive oil, turn up the heat in the oven, and make it sizzle. Another option might be taking the bacon to the flabby stage in the oven, then finishing it off in a skillet with some oil.

This is a short post, so I’ll digress into a lifestyle question. One of the cool things about rural agricultural counties like Stokes County is that — though most people long ago gave up gardening — some people still do it. As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, you want to get to know the agricultural extension folks in your county. The gardener who gave me the eggplant is retired from the agricultural extension service. Once you’ve built a network of gardeners, people trade or give away their surpluses. I remember how it was when I was a child. We’d give people strawberries. They might bring us corn. It’s a nice way to live.

Now if I could only locate some wild abandoned apples to trade for some organic eggs.

Ready for the dreaded mandolin


Ready for the oven

A vegan supper: Tofu scramble, eggplant bacon, and sourdough toast. The chardonnay is off-camera.

One Comment

  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Wow, looks tasty too. I don’t have a Mandolin, I used to, but was terrified that I’d slice my fingers off once I started sliding the veggies over it. I hope you get to the crispy stage too.

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

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