All About Eggplant

I’ve put it off as long as I can; I’m making the Spiced Eggplant-Lentil Salad with Mango that I’ve been challenged to make.

I had to do online research to figure out how to prepare these eggplants! In my 44 years of living, I’ve never prepared one, and I can’t remember seeing my mother or grandmother prepare one either.  Here is a great primer on eggplant prep.

Other fun facts on eggplant:

  • The seeds are edible; you don’t remove them.
  • The eggplant is a member of the nightshade family – along with the tomato and potato – and is technically a fruit.
  • Eggplant is low in calories and fat but high in fiber. It is a source of potassium, iron and protein.
  • The American eggplant, also referred to as the Western eggplant, is available all year round but it will be found most readily available in local markets in the late summer to early fall, with August and September being their peak season.
  • When selecting an eggplant, look for one that has a shiny, smooth skin that does not have bruises or blemishes. It should feel heavy for its size and when tapped on it should sound solid and not hollow.
  • Another method of choosing an eggplant is to check as to whether it is a male or female. The male generally has fewer seeds, making it less bitter. The male eggplant is rounder and smoother on the bottom (blossom end) where the female has an indentation similar to a dash on its bottom.

P.S. Recently, I wrote about an eggplant shortage. I ended up seeing them in Wal-Mart, but on Wednesday, Traci said they were back in  the stores. I didn’t see any in Publix yesterday, though.

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