Get The Most Out of Your Eggplant from Backyard Eats
When It’s Ready
- Eggplants can be harvested at varying sizes.
- Fairy Tale eggplants will produce smaller eggplants in comparison to the Asian and Italian Eggplant
- Like cucumbers, larger eggplants will have larger seed cavities which can be undesirable for cooking
- “Pick eggplant when the skin takes on a high gloss. To test, press the skin. If the indentation doesn’t spring back, that fruit is ready for harvest.”
- When your eggplants reach your desired size, harvest continuously to promote further fruit production
When It’s Too Late
- “If you cut open an eggplant fruit and find that the seeds inside have turned brown, the fruit is past prime quality and the flavor may be bitter. The best way to avoid this is by picking fruits on the young side, when they are one-third to two-thirds of their fully mature size.”
- Using gardening scissors or a sharp knife, cut the eggplant from the vine leaving a half inch of the stem attached to the calyx (the green top)
Eggplant is a vegetable that is known for its distinctive shape and deep purple color. It has a mild and slightly sweet taste, with a spongy and meaty texture that pairs well with sauces. Eggplant can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, or fried, and is often used in dishes such as ratatouille, moussaka, and baba ghanoush. It also pairs well with a variety of other ingredients, including tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.
Varieties of Eggplant:
Asian Eggplant | Italian Eggplant | Mini Eggplant ‘Fairy Tale’ | Mini Eggplant ‘Little Prince’
Store at 46-54F, 90-95% humidity.
No long-term storage, sort through weekly and discard soft fruit.
Cooking With Eggplant
- Eggplant Parmesan: Bread and fry eggplant slices, then layer them with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly for a delicious Italian-inspired dish.
- Grilled Eggplant: Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly charred for a flavorful and healthy side dish or sandwich filling.
- Baba Ganoush: Roast or grill eggplant until the skin is charred and the flesh is soft. Scoop out the flesh, mash it with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil. Serve as a dip with pita bread or vegetables.
- Ratatouille: Combine eggplant with tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and onions in a stew-like dish. Simmer until all the flavors meld together for a hearty and comforting vegetable medley.
- Eggplant Stir-Fry: Slice eggplant and stir-fry it with your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms. Add soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for an Asian-inspired stir-fry. Serve with rice or noodles.