That Weird Purple Vegatable~ Eggplant ~ Aubergine

Recently I’ve been loving eggplant. I have a new found love for it actually, and have learned to enjoy the strange thick texture, spongey taste, and the many concoctions you can make with this royal purple vegetable. While many restaurants, including Whole Foods, has mastered cooking with eggplant, I still cannot. So I looked I got curious and looked it up online. Today is Memorial Weekend, and in honor of the traditional American BBQ day, I thought I’d try grilling. Easier said than done; needless to say I’m still working on it.

How do you tell if the eggplant has gone bad?

My eggplant sat in my fridge for two days and when I pulled it out to use, it seemed a little off. The color was fine, but when I cut it open it had some darker spots. This has happened before, I’ve also noticed sometimes my eggplant has many seeds in it. Apparently these are signs of it going bad.This is not a good sign. A healthy eggplant should have light coloration on the inside with little to no seeds   Other signs an eggplant is going bad include: a brown stem instead of a nice green one, discoloration on the purple skin- lighter or darker spots, if you are able to press into the sides easily without having the body spring back,

Some more facts and tips:

  • Storing an eggplant in cold temperatures under 50 degrees helps it go bad quicker
  • Eggplants can be frozen! Just slice it up, boil the pieces for about three minutes, and stick it in a bag, then into the freezer.
  • Technically eggplant is a fruit, however it is referred to as a vegetable (like a tomato)
  • May and June are when eggplants are in season, thus the best time to buy and cook!
  • Smaller eggplants are usually less bitter since they have less seeds, though soaking them in salt before cooking helps eliminate the bitterness.
  • Eggplants are known for going bad fast, so buy them accordingly. It’s recommended to store them unwrapped in the crisper of the refrigerator.
  • Eggplants can be used for good meat substitutes because of their unique texture, and of course mixed into a variety of recipes.

Grilling Eggplant: Note- I’m no master in this yet, however I believe this is a step in the right direction, but I love to grill, and like simple  recipes that require little effort, mess, and measurement

– Cut your eggplant into slices, maybe about .5 inches, or whatever you desire

– lightly drizzle olive oil on each side of eggplant….I say lightly because you dont want to over do it and loose the natural flavor. You can always add more oils after it is cooked, if needed (or at least that’s how I do it)

– Add a tiny bit of balsamic vinaigrette, again you can add more later if needed

– I love putting garlic on all my veggies

– Add any other spices: thyme, oregano, basil, dill, pepper….

Fire up the grill, and place pieces on the hot burner. I’m terrible at timing and typically watch how it cooks and the burn marks. Remember to flip to cook each side. When they look done, and have some grill charcoal on each side, put on a plate, cool, and eat. I would guess about 15 minutes maximum to cook both sides.

Eggplant Recipes I Love: eggplant Parmesan, grilled eggplant stack, ricotta stuffed eggplant, rolled eggplant, baked eggplant, and many more I make up with whatever I have or whatever is in season!

        

 

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