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Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. They grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height. It has a marked precocity with very shiny purple colored fruits that make it highly popular with farmers and consumers. It has a sweet-spicy flavour, very good in the kitchen.
Eggplant becomes bitter with age. Store in a cool dry place and use within a day or two of purchase. To store longer, place in the refrigerator.
Eggplant can be baked, braised, boiled, fried, grilled, roasted, sauted, stewed. When young, the skin is delicious and edible; older eggplants should be peeled. The flesh discolors quickly therefore it is advised to cut just before using. When cutting or chopping it, use a stainless-steel knife, since carbon-steel utensils can cause discoloration and a bitter aftertaste.
Eggplants matches well with aioli, anchovies, bacon, ham, lamb, balsamic vinegar, basil, bechamel sauce, bread crumbs, capers, cream, cumin, garlic, goats cheese, Gruyere, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Ricotta, lemon, mint, mushrooms, olive oil, olives, onions, oregano, parsley, peppers, pesto, pine nuts, rice, rosemary, shallots, thyme, tomatoes, walnuts, yogurt, zucchini.
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