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Baby Eggplant

Oct 12, 2018

The baby eggplant may be small, but they are just as hearty as their adult counterpart in the nightshade family.

Appearance & Flavor
Depending on variety, they can be short and squatty or narrow and elongated. Their colors can also range from shiny dark purple to a lighter lavender with white striping, or even green. Be careful, as their skin is delicate and can bruise easily. Their cap should be bright green. The off-white, tender, and sweet-tasting flesh is consistent across different varieties. Chose eggplants that are firm, heavy for their size, and have a smooth, bright-colored skin free of scarring and bruises. To put their ripeness to the test, gently press with your thumb and it should bounce back.

Ways to Enjoy
This stuffed eggplant recipe makes for a great side dish. Eggplants are often used as a great substitute for vegetarians and vegans alike. Fried, braised, grilled, roasted-you can't go wrong.

Availability & Origin
Available year-round, the baby eggplant is native to China and India. New Jersey actually grows more than 65 percent of the world's eggplant supply. They also grow in California and Mexico.

Storage
For up to two days of use, store it whole, unwashed, at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight. For up to five days, store it whole, unwashed, and in a container or perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer. If your baby eggplant comes wrapped in plastic already, remove the wrapper as soon as possible because plastic accelerates the breakdown process. Keep them a distance away from any ethylene-producing fruits like apples and potatoes-that speeds up the decay process as well. After cutting the eggplant, the slices will brown easily. Follow this process and you'll get about three days out them. 

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