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Also known as Aubergine or brinjal. Eggplants are pear-shaped and have purple shiny skin. They are categorised by size. Use in casseroles, layered vegetable dishes, curries, baba ghanoush and stuffed with meat and rice.

Varieties include:
Smaller gourmet or baby eggplant: excellent when small quantities are required
Larger eggplants: may have a slightly bitter taste which can be removed by de-gorging (see cooking)

Choose firm, dark and shiny eggplant heavy for its size. It should have flesh that bounces back when lightly pressed. Avoid those with brown spots or shrivelled skin.

In an airtight bag in refrigerator crisper.

To de-gorge, slice and sprinkle with salt, rinsing after 30 minutes and drying the surfaces well with paper towels. This also stops absorption of excess oil when grilling, barbecuing or pan-frying. Line a grill pan with foil, spray slices of eggplant with a little olive oil and grill each side for approximately 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Pan-fry in a heavy non-stick frypan.

Serving suggestion:
Grill or barbecue slices of eggplant lightly brushed or sprayed with oil and serve with grilled capsicum and zucchini slices to accompany chicken.
May be served as a light meal on toasted ciabatta or Turkish bread.


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