When to Buy/In Season:
Season: all year
How to Select:
Look for: firm, heavy eggplant free from blemishes with a uniformly dark, rich purple color and a bright green cap. Avoid wrinkled or flabby eggplant which are usually bitter tasting
Eggplants are sprayed against blight, lace bugs, blister beetles, flea beetles, and Colorado potato beetles, among others. Organic growers control these with physical barriers, sticky traps, and a strain of bacteria that is believed to be harmless to other forms of life.
EWG 2009 Dirty Dozen, eggplant ranks #38 for highest levels of pesticide residues
How to Store:
Store: in the refrigerate for 1 -2 days
Eggplants are sensitive to ethylene, formed naturally from certain other produce, so store away from
To Freeze from fresh:
Preparation: Harvest before seeds become mature and when color is uniformly dark. Wash and peel. If eggplant is to be fried, cut in 1/3-inch slices. For casseroles or mixed vegetables, dice or cut in strips. Work quickly, preparing only enough eggplant for one blanching.
Blanch: Water blanch diced pieces or strips 2 minutes in 1 gallon of boiling water containing 4-1/2 teaspoons citric acid or 1/2 cup lemon juice. One-third-inch slices should be blanched for 4 minutes. Cool, drain, package, seal and freeze.
Slices to be fried should be packed between sheets of freezer wrap for easy removal.
Or, instead of blanching, fry: Cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and allow to stand 30 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and fry gently in butter or margarine until just tender. Cool and pack into ]plastic containers. Seal and label.
Store freshly frozen eggplant in the freezer (0F) up to 3 months
Photo Source: Robyn Gallagher