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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Eggplant

Eggplant

Summer, Early Fall

Description: Eggplant is a tear-shaped, usually purple-black vegetable. Its fleshy and substantive texture makes it a good replacement for meat. Asian eggplant, a more slender variety, is typically sweeter.

Selection: Choose eggplant with bright, shiny, taut skin and no soft spots. Larger eggplants are more likely to have lots of seeds and a bitter flavor.

Storage and handling: Eggplant can be kept on the countertop for several days.

Preparation: Trim the green caps and slice or dice the flesh. Remove skin with a vegetable peeler if desired. Salting older eggplant before cooking removes bitter flavors. Cut as desired, sprinkle with salt, leave in colander for 30 minutes, squeeze gently and pat dry. Sauté salted, drained cubes in small amount of hot oil 6-8 minutes, stirring or shaking constantly, until browned and tender. Broil peeled slices, brushed with oil and placed on a broiler pan rack, 5 inches from heat source until browned on each side. Microwave cubed eggplant, covered, 3-4 minutes.

Serving suggestions: Not usually eaten raw. Sauté eggplant with other vegetables or with garlic and herbs (SIS, p. 125). Roasted eggplant can be topped with a thin layer of pesto or olive tapenade, or sprinkled with cheese then broiled (SIS, p. 119). Try eggplant burgers (SIS, p. 140).

Nutrients (when cooked): fiber.

1 lb raw = 6 cups
1 lb cooked = 2 1⁄2 cups

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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