Eggplant 101

If you receive eggplants in your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or bought these fiber-rich vegetables at the Lexington Farmers Market, you’ll find they are not as bitter as their grocery-store counterparts. Beyond eggplant parmesan and fried eggplant, they are well-suited for roasting. Watch this kitchen demo featuring three delicious side and appetizer dishes made from a simple roasted eggplant recipe.

UK Dietitian Vanessa Oliver, M.S. R.D., L.D., showcases several easy and tasty side dishes using roasted eggplant.

Watch the full video of our Veg Out workshop on eggplant and learn:

  • Interesting background about eggplants and their name
  • Options for using eggplant in cuisine from around the world
  • Preparation of eggplant that brings out a natural subtle sweetness
  • And more tips and tricks for eating well and enjoying eggplant!

What you need to know:

Lots of color possibilities: purple, green, orange, white, purple/white striped. Shape and size can also vary widely.
*Farmers market/CSA eggplants tend to be more fresh (less bitter) than those at the grocery store.

Eggplants are very perishable and become bitter with age. They should be stored in a cool, dry place and used within 2-3 days of purchase. To store in the refrigerator, place in a plastic bag. If you plan to cook it the same day you buy it, leave it out at room temperature.

Select eggplants with a small oval-shaped dimple at the blossom end; the round ones seem to have more seeds and tend to be less meaty. Smaller, immature eggplants are best. Full-size puffy ones may have hard seeds and can be bitter. Choose a firm, smooth-skinned eggplant that is heavy for its size; avoid soft or brown spots. Gently push with your thumb or forefinger. If the flesh gives slightly but then bounces back, it is ripe. If the indentation remains, it is overripe and the insides will be mushy. If there is no give, the eggplant was picked too early. Also make sure an eggplant isn’t dry inside, knock on it with your knuckles. If you hear a hollow sound, don’t buy it.

1 medium eggplant contains about 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, 9 grams of sodium, 16 grams of dietary fiber and 5 grams of protein.

Prepare roasted eggplant to use in these recipes:


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