Eggplants are oblong and small to medium in size, averaging 20-25 centimeters in length, and have a bulbous base that tapers slightly to the stem. The outer skin is glossy, smooth, and ranges in color from lavender to a deep purple. The inner flesh is firm, white or ivory with barely visible, edible seeds patterned throughout. When cooked, Eggplants are tender and creamy with a rich flavor.
Eggplants are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. They also contain high levels of anthocyanins, a pigment not only responsible for the fruit’s skin coloring, but it is also loaded with antioxidant properties.
Eggplants are best suited for cooked applications such as frying, baking, saut?ing, grilling, and pickling. Eggplants benefit from its porous texture, allowing it to absorb accompanying flavors with ease. It can be sliced and fried or grilled and used in eggplant parmigiana and pasta dishes. It can also be grilled and served with mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and olive oil as a fresh appetizer. Italian eggplant pairs well with tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, herbs such as basil, arugula and oregano, capers, green olives, pine nuts, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and grilled steak, veal, and lamb. Eggplants will keep up to three days when stored in a cool and dry place. Refrigeration should be avoided as Eggplants can suffer chill damage from frigid temperatures.