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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

Entries in growing vegetables (1)


Planning to Grow Eggplant?

Image:- moving into my current home and garden over twenty years ago, I began to experiment growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. I had little success because the fauna that visited my back yard feasted on the emerging foliage of most edible plant seedlings and always made sure to take a bite out of all produce that thrived.

Eventual, I gave up trying to grow food and confined my gardening to perennials. However, if I could, I would have cultivated the fleshy, plump, oval-shaped, purple-black eggplant - Solanum melongena – an ingredient in my favorite condiment: Eggplant Relish. Here is my time-tested recipe:-

Allan Becker’s Eggplant Relish

1 large eggplant, washed

1 large tomato, rinsed

1 large Vidalia onion

1 large green pepper, rinsed [or substitute 1 small green pepper and 1 small red pepper; do not eliminate green pepper entirely].

1 tsp. brown sugar

Salt, pepper

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup mild white vinegar

½-cup ketchup or a combination of ketchup and BBQ sauce, proportions according to taste

¼-cup water

9 x 12 baking dish

Medium-sized mixing bowl

Aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Remove green stem from eggplant.

Slice eggplant - with peel on - lengthwise into ¼-inch slices and then cut each slice into ¼-inch cubes.

Dice tomato. [a serrated knife is helpful].

Peel and dice onion.

Core, seed, devein and dice pepper.

Spray bottom and sides of baking dish with oil or coat by hand.

Spread eggplant on the bottom of the dish.

Layer with onions.

Continue with a layer of tomatoes.

Finish with a layer of peppers.

Sprinkle surface with brown sugar.

Season with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl combine:-

¼-cup oil

½-cup vinegar

½-cup ketchup

¼-cup water

Stir well and pour over vegetables.

Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Remove foil and bake for an additional 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Stir contents to combine all ingredients.

Spoon mixture into Mason jars and store in refrigerator until needed. This condiment has a long shelf life.

May be served cold with crackers as an hors d'oeuvre or as a side dish to a meal.