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That’s Why They Call it an Eggplant

July 22nd, 2009

There’s no mistaking why they’re called eggplants when you see the baby ‘Thai Yellow’ Eggplants. The name eggplant developed in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada because the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs.
eggplant
I must admit, I’m not particularly fond of eggplant. I have tried eating it in so many different ways and the texture just isn’t quite something I like. But I still grow them and eat them (last year I grew the purple ones). I find that if I chop them up small and put them in lasagna I don’t notice them too much.

Are you an eggplant lover? Any great recommendations for eating eggplant for those of us non-eggplant lovers?

22 Comments to “That’s Why They Call it an Eggplant”
  1. Karen in OH on July 22, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I love eggplant. Your little baby eggplant is just adorable. Do you salt your eggplant slices and then let them sit in a colander draining off the bitterness before you use them? I think that makes a big difference.

    I like to eat them in Baba Ganooj. Have you ever tried that? If you like hummus, you would probably enjoy Baba.

    Your photos are always so pretty. Thanks for keeping your blog going and up to date.

    Reply to Karen in OH's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

      I do like hummus, so I’d probably like them that way. I’ll have to give it a whirl.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Mangochild on July 22, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I love eggplant too – and they are just starting to come out here! I have Bambino Hybrid and Fairy Tale varieties growing, and can’t wait to start cooking with them.
    I’ve never done the salting/draining thing though – just don’t find it necessary. What I’m enjoying now is a kind of pan-sear: slice the eggplant into medium thick rounds, then heat a non-stick or cast iron pan on medium-high, and in go the eggplants until golden brown on the outside. Give them a flip, and in a couple minutes take them off the heat and eat immediately :-) Crispy on the outside, and warm and soft on the inside. I like pairing them with grilled tomatoes. You can also add a couple pieces of basil to the top of the eggplant after the flip.
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..Garden Update: Mid-July 2009 =-.

    Reply to Mangochild's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2009 at 8:55 am

      I think last year I made an eggplant stack that was similar, seared eggplant with slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves. I drizzled it all with balsamic & a little olive oil.

      I figure if I keep eating it I’ll start to like it soon.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. s on July 22, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I love eggplant! It took a few years of trying out recipes to get the hang of it though. I started growing it just because it was so pretty!

    Eggplant parm is a classic, I often make a ton and freeze the fried eggplant slices which make a super fast winter meal. I have been freezing blanched and cubed eggplant for the winter and it goes great in stews and pasta dishes.

    Grilled eggplant parmesan is awfully good too. I like this one:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Eggplant-Parmesan-106955

    Like mangochild I find that salting is unnecessary for freshly picked.
    .-= s´s last blog ..Learning as you go =-.

    Reply to s's comment

    • Karen in OH on July 22, 2009 at 9:11 am

      I know that certain people are genetically programmed to sense bitter tastes more than others. I just must be one of the people that has a seriously bitter- tasting tongue. I cannot eat eggplant that hasn’t been drained. I might be in the minority.

      Reply to Karen in OH's comment

      • Susy on July 22, 2009 at 9:46 am

        I’ve heard that as well. Mr Chiots used to complain about broccoli being bitter. But he no longer does.

        to Susy's comment

  4. Daphne on July 22, 2009 at 9:33 am

    LOL it sounds just like me. Last year I grew zucchini and eggplant, both I considered bad. I figured I ought to learn to like them – especially zucchini since it is so prolific. I did teach myself not to hate them. I still don’t love them, but I don’t hate them either. There are ways I’m willing to eat them and like it. I’ve found just about anything can be eaten in a strong curry. I also found a Moroccan stew wasn’t bad – if only I could find the recipe again. Anything is OK with me if I drench it in spaghetti sauce and cheese so a baked eggplant Parmesan worked. But then I might have hated the bitterness in eggplant. The eggplant from my garden wasn’t at all bitter if I picked it young enough.

    I have to say I’m really looking forward to the first zucchini. I’m getting tired of salads for lunch and want something else. In a month I’ll probably be wishing for it to be over.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Fall Garden Is Started =-.

    Reply to Daphne's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2009 at 9:45 am

      I too was so excited for zucchini! One thing I love about season eating is enjoying different things at different times of the year. I didn’t used to like zucchinni, but now we LOVE it. I eat it so many ways, even grilled and on top of pizza (which I may try with eggplant again this year).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Becca on July 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I second Eggplant stew. Its like a hearty tomato based stew with great spices like cinnamon. I made it the first time I was pregnant and I really wanted eggplant for some reason. It was so good. You can eat it on couscous or rice, or just in a bowl. I ate the entire pot in 2 days. Here is a similar recipe to mine – though it is made in a crockpot and I made mine stovetop: http://www.recipezaar.com/Eggplant-and-Tomato-Stew-in-the-Crock-Pot-66056

    I have a friend that makes eggplant lasagna. She actually replaces the noodles with slices of eggplant. I believe she boils them a bit first just like you would pasta noodles. I have tasted it and liked it, but her husband hates it. Maybe if she had meat in there as well it would go over better.
    .-= Becca´s last blog ..Last Minute Move =-.

    Reply to Becca's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2009 at 10:10 am

      I’ll have to try to they the stew. I looks as though I’m going to have a lot of eggplants this year (last year my plant only produced 2 eggplants).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Seren Dippity on July 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I’m kinda like you on the eggplant – not just lovin’ em. BUT maybe you will like your white eggplant better than the standard purple ones. I grew Purple Blush and Snowy White this summer and was totally surprised to find a much better flavor with them than the type I used to buy at the grocery store. Maybe it is the size, I did harvest them a bit small. I did a delicious Shrimp stuffed Eggplant – here’s the recipe posted at my daughter’s cooking blog:
    http://thefrickinchicken.blogspot.com/2009/07/shrimp-stuffed-eggplant.html

    Before I grew my own, the only way I really liked them was battered and deep fried. A favorite restaurant of mine used them crispy fried like this as a “crouton” type accent on one of their salads.

    One of my main reasons for gardening is the opportunity to try varieties that are not found in the grocery store. I’m growing 2 foot long red noodle beans and squashes I’ve never seen before. FUN!

    Oh, btw, I wen to your garlic supplier and ordered a sampler pack for my hot Dallas climate. I’m so excited! There were so many choices, I couldn’t choose! I think I will be building a new bed just for garlic, onions and shallots; three things I use more than anything in my cooking. Thanks for the referral.

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2009 at 10:11 am

      I like anything with shrimp – MMMMMMM.

      I also find that homegrown is often much better tasting that store bought. I didn’t used to eat green peppers because they always gave me terrible indigestion, not so with homegrown. Must have been the variety.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. inadvertent farmer on July 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I grow them because they are so pretty…my family pretty much detests them, lol! I give them away or try to hide them in food (such as lasagna) I am hoping this year to find the perfect recipe that will turn my family onto eggplant, I’ll keep you posted. Kim
    .-= inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..What Cute Idea! =-.

    Reply to inadvertent farmer's comment

  8. warren on July 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I never found an eggplant I enjoyed either. We planted some of the white ones this year too but one of the feral cats that lives under our shed had kittens and they dug up every plant we had. I guess they like eggplant!
    .-= warren´s last blog ..The Big Dig, Part 1 =-.

    Reply to warren's comment

  9. Christine on July 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I like eggplant so much I have to stop myself from eating a whole one in one sitting! I slice it (skin on) about 1/4 inch thick then salt, sit and drain. I bake the slices on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees until just crispy and dry. Since they are already salted they are like chips. Yummy!

    Reply to Christine's comment

  10. Kimberly on July 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Slice it longways and grill it with some salt and pepper, then wrap it around a bit of goat cheese. Yum!

    My eggplants are only just starting to flower, but I started mine from seed late in the season. I’m in NorCal, so we have a long season and I’m not concerned.

    Reply to Kimberly's comment

  11. Kristin on July 23, 2009 at 2:50 am

    The first thing that came to mind was, “Awwww, that’s so ardorable!” Now reminding myself that is in fact a veggie…
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Plan Ahead: Save $1200 on Groceries =-.

    Reply to Kristin's comment

  12. pam on July 23, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I’m not too fond of eggplant either. I’ve just tried a pickled one, that is pickling in my fridge even as we speak. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Tyler Florence – Chili Cheese Dogs =-.

    Reply to pam's comment

  13. Pampered Mom on July 23, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I don’t love all eggplant – I despise the gigantic purple ones. I’ve found the long skinny purple ones have better flavor. We typically slice them real thin and then saute them so they’re sort of caramelized. It’s a fantastic topping for pizza that way!
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..On the importance of identifying weeds early =-.

    Reply to Pampered Mom's comment

    • Susy on July 23, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      Caramelized anything sounds good to my, especially on pizza. I’ll definitely be trying this on our grilled veggie pizzas.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Allie on July 31, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I like to cut eggplant lengthwise – then marinate in Italian dressing overnight and grill. Then you can use the cooked eggplant to make noodle free lasagna, or in sandwiches, etc.
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..Two Years! =-.

    Reply to Allie's comment

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