Yesterday, I decided to finally try out a recipe I'd been thinking about for the past one year. I hadn't eaten garden eggs in the years I lived in the States. In my one and a half years of being back in Nigeria, I've had them maybe twice. What I'd never before tasted was the peanut paste that goes along with garden eggs. My were my taste buds dancing to it! So much so, that I forfeited the garden eggs altogether and would put the paste on jollof rice :)
Anyways, I'd always wondered about a different way to eat garden eggs. Up until last year, I didn't know there was a thing called Garden Egg Stew/Sauce/Soup. But I thought about grilling. Because I figured if garden egg is a vegetable, and you can grill vegetables, why not garden eggs? (*side note: Wikipedia says they're actually classified as BERRY! Hey, just like me!*) In addition, I believe they're related to the eggplant regularly eaten grilled in America.
|Different kinds of Eggplant|
For those of us who are watching our weight, garden eggs have a number of health benefits. They are high in fiber, vitamin B1, and low in calories. The skin is rich with nasunin, which is a potent antioxidant and therefore is a good anti-aging food. Nasunin also restricts the growth of new blood cells, which is good for fighting cancer, but bad for fetuses so pregnant women should take note. They're a good snack to have between meals too. I had them for dinner instead.
So I got some garden eggs on my way home from work yesterday. I couldn't find the groundnut paste, but luckily we had some at home. I didn't know they were sold in big jars. I informed my aunt/uncle and their son and the housekeeper about my intentions to grill the garden eggs. Reactions range from stupefied looks to shaking heads to laughter. But they didn't sway me and I got to work.
|1. Wash garden eggs|
|2. Cut garden eggs into halves and place on aluminum foil|
|3. Place pan in grill. Grill one side for 10 minutes, flip over and the grill the other side another 10 minutes.|
|4. Once done, bring out of grill. They didn't look very appetizing.|
|Still not sure I want to eat them.|
|5. Spread paste, or other sauteed vegetables (mine were peppers, onions and carrots) on garden eggs and VOILA!|
VERDICT - Well, erm, ok... first of all, I must have been the only person in the world that didn't know garden eggs were full of water. Whereas my thought was to have the garden eggs crunchy, they came out soft and full of water - like any other vegetable, or berry as we've just found out. So because it wasn't what I was expecting, it wasn't GREAT for me. The peanut paste mixed with all the water from the garden eggs didn't mesh well together. BUT on the plus side, the sauteed veggies were a wonderful complement to the garden eggs.
Will I try it again? Mmmm, maybe if I was bored. And if I had sauteed chicken and shrimps to go along with it.
Signing off now. Have a pretty weekend.