Autumn is a season of abundance and this is no more evident than at the Tauranga Farmers Market. Market manager Trixie Allen says, “Finally all those loaded trees we see during summer can be picked. Paddocks can be harvested. Best of all, some summer crops extend into the autumn allowing for further freezing and preserving.” So, with your market basket full of fresh local goodness, here are a few ideas to enjoy it.

This is a great way to use eggplants, which are at their best right now along with the beautiful end of season tomatoes. Serve it as a chutney with cheese, like Mount Eliza’s Red Leicester or some Pirongia Bacon sausages. I have used it as a wholesome brunch served on sourdough from Flaveur Breads and topped with one of Nicki’s free range eggs.

1 large eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces, from Riverside Growers
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, from Katikati Frantoio
10–15 curry leaves
½ tsp each yellow mustard and fenugreek seeds
10cm piece (50g) ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, from Pirongia Mountain Vegetables
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced, from Southern Belle Orchards
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garam masala
500g vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped, from Rivendale Gardens
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

Place eggplant in a colander and toss with 2 tsp salt. Stand for 15 minutes, then rinse, drain and pat dry.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add curry leaves and mustard and fenugreek seeds, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until mustard seeds start to pop. Add ginger, garlic and chilli, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes or until garlic is golden. Add spices, and cook, continuing to stir, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add eggplant, tomato, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 18–20 minutes or until thickened slightly and eggplant is tender.

Store covered and chilled for up to three weeks.

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