Our sister blog "Know How, Know More" has been sharing stories of our CSA adventure this summer. CSA stands for "community supported agriculture," and we are having fun making recipes from our weekly box of local foods. We had some unusual foods, as well as found some fun ways to cook with familiar foods. Recently, we had eggplant in our box.
One cup of cubed eggplant contains around 20 calories, 5g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, and contains vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, folate, magnesium, and potassium. Eggplant is not a significant source of fat, protein, or sodium.
- Types: The standard oval-shaped eggplant probably comes to mind. There are also smaller, thin Japanese eggplants, and even specialty eggplants in different colors and patterns. For pictures of different types of eggplants, click on Conventional and Specialty Eggplant Varieties in Florida from University of Florida Extension.
- Buy: Look for eggplants with a bright, smooth skin that are firm and heavy. Avoid those that are soft or mushy. Small eggplants will be more tender than larger ones.
- Price: Price will vary by type of eggplant and size. Choose the amount you need for your recipe and that fits in your budget.
- Store: Eggplant will last longer when stored in the refrigerator, unwashed and uncut. While canning eggplant is not recommended, freezing and drying are options. Read more about freezing and dehydration of eggplant from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
- Prepare: Wash eggplant and cut off the top and bottom ends. Both the skin and inside flesh are edible, although the skin on larger eggplants may be tough.
- Eat: Eggplant has a mild flavor, and pairs well with many savory dishes. Eggplant is a great way to add extra vegetables without changing the flavor of a dish, such as soups, stews, or roasted vegetables like the Ratatouille recipe below.
- South Dakota State University Extension, Pick it! Try it! Like it!, Eggplant, 2013
- University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Eggplant, N/D
- University of Maine Extension, Eggplant, 2009
- USDA. Agricultural Research Service. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27
Roasted Ratatouille (Serves 6)
There are several serving ideas for this recipe: as a side dish to meat, mix with beans for a protein-packed vegan option, served over pasta or quinoa. Try them all!
1 medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant
1 small onion
1 small bell pepper (any color)
1 large tomato (or 1 cup grape tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp each dried basil, thyme, rosemary
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2. In a large bowl, combine vegetables, oil, herbs, and black pepper. Spread into a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Nutrition Information per serving: 110 calories, 7g total fat, (6g unsaturated fat), 5mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 0g added sugar, 4g dietary fiber, 2g protein