Eggplant is a shiny purple vegetable popular in Italian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines. Eggplant has a mild flavor and "meaty" texture that lends itself well to a variety of dishes and cooking techniques. Eggplant is available all year, hitting its
Buying: Look for eggplant that is firm, heavy, and smooth. A ripe eggplant should be free of bruises or cuts. Eggplant comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, but the most common variety is the large purple type.
Storing: Eggplant should be kept in a cool, dry place and used within a day or two of purchasing. It's not necessary to refrigerate it if you'll be eating it right away, though you can store it in the refrigerator for up to four days (as long as you wrap it tightly with plastic wrap).
Eating: The flesh of eggplant changes color when exposed to air, so avoid cutting it until you're ready to cook. Eggplant can be added to soups, stews, dips, or tomato sauces. It can also be cooked on the grill with a little extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. Roasted eggplant is also delicious in sandwiches (beginning in Phase 2).