A coworker brought me two beautiful eggplants from her garden so now I need to find a recipe for them. If anyone knows of a really good eggplant recipe, send it my way! I think I am going to end up stuffing them, but with what I wonder?
Since eggplants are in season right now, while I’m looking for a recipe, why don’t you learn a little about the purple fruit.
Name: Eggplant (Aubergine)
Season: July through October
Geography: Native to China and India, eggplants are believed to have been introduced to Europe by the Arabs.
Choosing: Eggplants come in several varieties, and can range from creamy white to deep purple, or even striped.
• Deep purple, round or oval eggplants are often nicknamed Italian or baby eggplants.
• Pale violet eggplant, usually slim and light, is nicknamed Chinese eggplant.
• Violet-white are Italian rosa biancos.
• Japanese eggplants are younger versions of the large commercial purple type.
Eggplants should be firm to the touch with no brown or soft spots. The skin should be smooth and shiny without blemishes. The eggplant should feel heavy.
Storing: Store eggplant in a cool dry place. Be careful not to place a ripening eggplant near fruits and tomatoes as they speed the ripening process due to their off gasses. Use an eggplant within 2 days of purchase or harvesting or store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Cooking Tips and Hints:
• Eggplant skin in edible in younger plants, but must be removed in older, larger eggplants.
• Cut and prepare eggplant right before using. Like a banana, the flesh will discolor when exposed to air.
• Eggplants absorb oils easily and quickly. To avoid this, coat your eggplant with breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or flour before frying.
• If you have an older eggplant, be sure to dégorge it before fry it. Dégorgeing requires that you sprinkle the sliced vegetable or fruit heavily with salt and place in a colander to drain of water before cooking.
• The following spices and herbs pair well with eggplant: basil, chervil, cumin, garlic, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, sesame seed, tarragon, thyme
• Eggplants are technically a fruit and botanically are considered a berry.
• The eggplant fruit contains insignificant amounts of nicotinoid alkaloids and, unsurprisingly, is a close relative of tobacco. 20 lbs of eggplant, on average, would contain about the amount of nicotine in an average cigarette.
• The name eggplant developed in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada because the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs.
• In the 16th century, Europeans believed eggplants caused insanity, and called it the Mad Apple.
• The eggplant is part of the “nightshade” family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet peppers.
My Favorite Recipes:
Ratatouille- a delicious French vegetable stew.
<a href= “http://tastyplanner.com/recipes/137-eggplant-parmesan”> Eggplant Parmesan- a classic Italian dish.
<a href= “http://tastyplanner.com/recipes/280-easy-moussaka-eggplant-tomaton”> Moussaka - a quicker alternative to Eggplant Parmesan.
<a href= “http://tastyplanner.com/recipes/500-shrimp-chili-eggplant-on-baby-spinach”>Shrimp Chili Eggplant on Baby Spinach- Shrimp, tomatoes, indian eggplant smothered in chili goodness and piled on baby greens.
Looking for more eggplant recipes? Check out more of these recipes on Tasty Planner.
I was being serious about my stuffed eggplant recipe search. If you find or have a good one, leave a comment or email it to me at joaniesee (at) gmail dot com.