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Crops & Varieties: Eggplant

Varieties


Orient Express       Elongated, thinner Asian-style eggplant.
         
Clara       White doesn't mean flavorless! Just as sweet as its more flamboyant cousins.
         
Beatrice       Plump, beautiful, and very flavorful. Great for those huge pieces of eggplant Parmesean
         
Dancer       More narrow than Beatrice, but still beautiful in color and delicious in flavor.


Quick tips

It’s a good idea to “sweat” eggplant before using in many dishes. Slice into desired shape/size, then add salt, lightly coating each piece. Place in a colander over a bowl and wait about 20 minutes. The eggplant ends up much softer and more tender if treated this way before preparing.


Try on the grill: slice a nice half-inch-thick round of a fatter eggplant, brush with olive oil, and throw on the grill. Makes a great burger topping, or is wonderful paired with a grilled portabello mushroom. 

Make quick-fried eggplant strips. Peel, then slice into thin strips, and “sweat” as described above. Then sautee in ample olive oil until soft and floppy. Add smoked paprika to make it even more of a treat.

Storage

If using within 3-4 days, store outside fridge in a cooler spot in your kitchen. To keep for around a week, place in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel in your refrigerator’s produce drawer.  You should avoid keeping them in the coldest spot in your fridge, as truly cold temperatures should be avoided.

See the eggplant Parmesean recipe below for a preparation that is great for freezing.

Recipes
 
Aubergines.org (a great site): Eggplant Catalana

From our Tumblr: Easy Eggplant Parmesean (great for freezing, as noted above)


Smitten Kitchen: Eggplant Salad Toasts


Braising: 10-20 mins
Frying: 10-14 mins
Grilling: 10-14 mins for strips; 30-45 mins whole
Microwaving: 12 mins for 1 lb
Oven Grilled: 20 mins at 500°
Roasting: 20-25 mins for slices & 30-40 whole at 375-500°
Sauteing: 5-10 mins
Stir Frying: 4-7 mins


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