Italian eggplant is the natural choice for classics like ratatouille and eggplant Parmesan, but varieties in different colors and shapes can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Prized for its dense, hearty texture and the ability to soak up flavor (it’s ideal for grilling), this vegetable can take the starring role in your next meal.
Selecting: If an eggplant is smooth and shiny and its skin bounces back when pressed, it’s a good one. Plus, it should feel heavy for it’s size.
Peak Season: July to October
Price: $1 to $5 per pound
Keeping It Fresh: Store in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Use it within two days or five days if refrigerated.
Pairs Well With: Tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, chickpeas, mint, and basil.
Creative Uses: Add Japanese eggplant to Thai coconut curry. Or Chop and stir-fry with baby bok choy and bell peppers.
Nutrition: Eggplant is rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant compound that may aid in weight loss and regulation of lipid metabolism, as well as the anthocyanin phytonutrient, nasunin, which safeguards brain cell membranes.
“Work With What You Got!”
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