Amongst our many plants in the outdoor kitchen, we have a gorgeous Asian eggplant that’s been calling my name. I’m a cook, not a gardener, so I don’t really know if they were ready to be harvested. But I do know that I was ready to cook, so when no one was looking... I stole two of them. I know it was bad and that I should have asked first, but I didn’t want to be told no. Hasn’t that ever happened to you?

After I snagged and ran, I felt guilty. So I did the only thing I could... I quickly cooked them up so I could hide the evidence. They were a little hard and kind of green on the inside (I guess I should have waited another week, but too late now, huh?) I fried them up in some vegetable oil until they were softened and browned. Then I tossed in a bit of minced garlic just to toast in the last minute.

I drained them on paper towels before transferring them to a plate and sprinkling with salt and julienned shiso (often called oba) leaves that were also growing nearby (see above? Gorgeous, right?).

It was delicious, but I wonder if it would have tasted as good if they had been legitimately picked?

Probably not.

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