When I started thinking about growing eggplants for the summer, I had been brainstorming heat tolerant plants to grow, I imagined a whole bed full of eggplants. Typically that is how we roll with our beds, maximize the capacity so we have a lot more harvest and food to store. Chris, my husband, kept telling me that I was going to have more eggplant than I could eat and well, he was right!
Several of these we started from seed but a few we got from our local plant nursery when some of the other seeds didn’t germinate. I’ve very happy with the variety; I think only two varieties, Li’l Darling and Rotanda Bianca, aren’t pictured here because I have yet to harvest them.
Eggplant is a vegetable (fruit, really) that I did not grow up eating (along with zucchini and asparagus). In fact it was only a couple of years ago that I ventured to make it at home after talking to a co-worker in Florida about it. Since becoming vegetarian I typically eat it more often at Italian restaurants and it was something I wanted to grow.
The fruit of the eggplant should not be allowed to ripen fully, which is typically an orange or yellow color, unless you want to save the seeds. We have had a couple of the White Star Hybrids turn yellow on the bottom and I threw them in the compost.
While I have made eggplant parmigiana before, my preferred method for eating eggplant is either as a sandwich or simply cut up, doused in some olive oil and sea salt, and grilled to tenderness. My mom recently made some eggplant parm but it didn’t taste good to her. A few weekends ago I went up and made some on the grill and she was instantly hooked, making some for herself later on in the week.
This is definitely one of those vegetables (fruits!) that people overlook—give it a try sometime in your garden!