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Eggplant

Italian Eggplant

Facts:

Eggplant is a vegetable long prized for its beauty as well as its unique taste and texture. Eggplants belong to the plant family of Solanaceae, also commonly known as nightshades, and are kin to the tomato, bell pepper and potato.

Asian Eggplant

Spiral Path Farm grows two varieties of eggplant. Italian and Asian
The Italian eggplant is much larger in diameter than that of the more slender Asian eggplant. Both can be prepared and used in the same manor.

Eggplant is used in the cuisine of many countries. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille, or deep fried as in the Italian parmigiana di melanzane, and Middle-Eastern and South Asian dishes. Eggplants can also be battered before deep-frying and served with a sauce made of tahini and tamarind.

The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Many recipes advise salting, rinsing and draining of the sliced fruit (known as "degorging"), to soften it and to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking, but mainly to remove the bitterness of the earlier cultivars.

Prep Tips:

Cut off the top. If you wish to peel, use a potato peeler. Start at the top and peel down.

Storage Tips:

Stores better at room tempurature for up to 3 days.

Harvest Season:

July, August & September

Farm Recipe:

GRILLED EGGPLANT STEAK

Make a marinade: 1 T balsamic vinegar, 1 T tamari soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 t pepper, 2 T olive oil. Let marinade "brew" for 15 minutes.
In a pinch (and Mike and Terra's favorite) Use Gazebo Room Greek dressing.
Slice eggplant (unpeeled) lengthwise into 1/2 inch steaks.
Pour 1/4 cup dressing into a 9" x 13" pan-this size works well for the steaks.
Dip each steak into dressing, both sides. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes or up to 24 hours in the fridge. Grill or broil for 4- 5 minutes each side, until soft.
Remove from heat. Serve with a slice of good cheese, thick slice of tomato and lettuce on a hearty bread sandwich. Mmm...

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