Eggplant is a member of the nightshade or potato family, which also includes tomatoes and hot peppers. Many useful medicines are derived from this family. Eggplants can be purple, green, white or striped, pear-shaped or cylindrical and the size of a golf ball to a football. Peel, cook, and pureé with garlic, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil to make Baba Ganooj. Stew with zucchini, onion, garlic, and tomato to make Ratatouille.
How to Select
Choose eggplants that are heavy for their size and without cracks or discolorations.
How to Store
Store eggplants in the refrigerator crisper drawer or in a plastic bag with some air holes. Use within 5-7 days. Freeze: Cook sliced eggplant, cool, and freeze in plastic bags. Prepare cooked eggplant dishes and freeze in containers.
How to Prepare
Rinse in cold water. Trim off any bruised spots. Cut off top stem and leaves. Peel if desired. Slice or dice. Microwave cubes in water, stab holes with fork and bake whole. Stuff and bake, roast, fry coated in breadcrumbs, grill brushed with olive oil. Add to sauces and soups, stir-fry or roast with other vegetables, or add to pasta and rice dishes and casseroles.
Recipes with this vegetable
Baba Ganoosh (eggplant dip with tahini: ground up sesame seeds) is a popular Middle Eastern dip and a good source of fiber.