Eggplant is at its best from July to October, and should be firm and heavy. Eggplant can be stuffed, roasted and grilled, and are used in many cuisines.
Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen-of-the-woods, ram's head, or sheep's head mushrooms, have a woodsy, smoky flavor that pairs well with roasted vegetables.
These make an easy party hors d’oeuvre. Both the meatballs and the sauce can be prepared the day before.
Grilled eggplant (aubergine in British English) makes for a spectacular and satisfying entrée. This dish is a perennial menu favorite at The Gate and is great for entertaining because the schnitzels can be assembled ahead, then baked just before serving. Serve with couscous, bulgur, or potatoes and sautéed greens.