Contributed by: Jennifer A. Wickes
History / Geography
Eggplants are native to China and India. They are believed to have been introduced to the Europeans by the Arabs.
Varieties / Season
July through October
Eggplants are members of the Nightshade family. Other members include potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. Despite the fact the culinary world treats eggplants like a vegetable, in biology, an eggplant is a fruit. Varieties include, but are not limited to: Japanese / Asian, Italian / Baby, White Beauty, Black Beauty, Burpee Hybrid and Early Beauty. Depending on these varieties, their colors range from white to a deep purple, they range in size from 2 to 12 inches (5 – 30 cm) and they can be oblong to round in shape.
How to Choose
Choose eggplants that are firm to the touch, have a smooth and shiny skin and are heavy. Avoid eggplants with brown or soft spots and have a dull color.
How to Store
Store in a cool dry place, but avoid placing near tomatoes and apples as they give off a gas that enhances the ripening process. Use the eggplant within 2 days. If necessary, the eggplant may be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for as long as 5 days.
Basil, chervil, cumin, garlic, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, sesame seed, tarragon, thyme
Equivalents / Substitutions
1 pound = 3 1/2 cup diced raw = 1 3/4 cup diced cooked = 4 servings
Eggplants contain Vitamin C and Potassium. Other than these two nutrients, eggplants do not have a significant nutrient value. Eggplants also have anti-bacterial, diuretic effects, as well as flavonoids (cancer fighting anti-oxidants). 1 cup cooked contains 25 calories.
Depending on how you fix your eggplant, try drinking a Chardonnay, a Grenache Rosé or a Zinfandel.
Web Sites For more information about eggplants, try one of these links:
Makes 6 Servings
DIP EGGPLANT SLICES IN EGGS, then in breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 20 minutes. In a large saucepan, sauté garlic in 2 tablespoons oil for 1-2 minutes. Remove garlic and add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Brown eggplant in 1/4-inch oil in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce into a baking dish and layer eggplant, sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella, alternately. End with mozzarella on top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Source: Public domain recipes converted from Meal Master format
Makes 6 Servings
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, over a medium-moderate flame. Add the remaining ingredients (except parsley). Heat and stir for 8- 10 minutes until softened, without browning. Add parsley-mix well. Arrange onto a serving platter. Serve warm, with crostini to the side.
Source: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered
This article was originally published at Suite 101.
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