Although it’s pretty to look at, Eggplant is often misunderstood. It has a distinct flavor and texture that seems to require an acquired taste. To all those people out there that are sworn against eggplant, give a nice looking, locally grown, and freshly harvested eggplant one more try. Its’ sweet flavor may surprise you.
Storage and Handling:
Eggplant likes to be stored at around 50 degrees. This is warmer than your refrigerator and cooler than most kitchen counters. I keep mine on the kitchen counter anyways, and try to use it within 3 days.
For optimal flavor and firmness use your eggplant as soon as possible but it’s still perfectly fine to use beyond three days but you’ll notice it getting softer.
‘Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables’ recommends wrapping the eggplant in a towel to absorb any excess moisture and storing it in your refrigerators’ crisper drawer for up to a week.
Eggplant is at its’ simple best brushed with olive oil and grilled. But it can also be sautéed, baked into eggplant parmesan, blended into baba ganouj, roasted, marinated, layered in a sandwich, stuffed, added to stir fries and curries, and made into soups.
Nadia: classic dark plum colored Italian variety most often seen in supermarkets.
Rosa Bianca: Italian heirloom variety that is round and fat with white and lavender purple colored skin that is tender and doesn’t need to be peeled. This variety cooks more quickly than Nadia.
Machiaw: Asian variety that is long and thin (almost looks like a balloon animal) with a lavender purple colored skin that is tender and does not need to be peeled. This variety is excellent in Asian and Thai dishes. Can also be used in Italian and Mediterranean dishes. This variety cooks quickly.