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

Organic Issues:
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.

Pesticide Issues:
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

Bananas, unripe

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

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