Also known as aubergine, eggplant is used in many traditional recipes around the world; Greek – moussaka, French – ratatouille, Indian – baingan bharta, and Turkish – imam bayildi. It has a mild taste and is typically cooked with stronger flavours such as garlic, tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices.
There are several varieties available in New Zealand with skin colours ranging from deep purple, almost black, light purple with creamy streaks to an all white. Eggplants also vary in shape from the commonly found pear-shaped to long and thin cylindrical shapes.
Eggplants are a great source of fibre too.
Refrigerate in the crisper to ensure the eggplant stays firm and keeps for longer.
There are many ways to cook eggplant. Steam, microwave, roast, grill, bake, shallow fry, braise, stew, or stuff.
Eggplants are normally used unpeeled and the stem cut off before cooking. When frying, to tighten the flesh and reduce the amount of oil absorption sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes, wash, drain and squeeze dry. This procedure will also drain out any bitterness.