Photo: Sicilian Eggplant, David MacTavish, Hutchinson Farm, Burlington, ON, July 16, 2012
Grown at Hutchinson Farm since the 1990's. Available late July - late September, 2015.

Solanum melongena

Eggplant. What a silly name. We much prefer the French "Aubergine" but whatever you call them, they are not a part of "traditional" Ontario cuisine. They're related to the tomato, aren't the least bit 'eggy', and they're weird (and we're not even talking about the African variety "Goyo Kumba"!  If you are a fan of eggplant, or an eggplant virgin, we will get you eating lots of the beautiful aubergines we grow on our farm!
  • In season
    Late July to late September.

  • Purchasing tips
    A fresh picked eggplant is as taut as an over inflated balloon, one puff away from popping. The older the eggplant, the softer it is. A seedy eggplant is to be avoided. How can you tell if an eggplant is seedy? You can't tell by looking :-( It mostly has to do with where we are in the eggplant season! At the beginning of the season the seeds are invisible, at the end of the season the eggplants are loaded with seeds! So, you're in trouble trying to buy one in the grocery store, especially out of season.

  • Storing at home
    Eggplants keep fairly well, but like tomatoes, you should keep them on your counter.

  • Cultivars
    Classic (black): Epic, Nadia, Night Shadow
    Sicilian (round, medium purple): Prospera
    Striped: Lista de Gandia

  • Preserve
    Hmm, we've only eaten them fresh, do you have any suggestions?

  • Classic Recipe
    If you've never cooked eggplant before, this is where you've got to start. As a customer once told me at the Burlington Farmers' Market (where we often post this recipe), "David, I've eaten more eggplant this year than I've eaten in my entire life!"

    The Great Eggplant Recipe
    -slice eggplant " inch thick
    -grill on BBQ
    -brush with mixture: half olive oil, half soya sauce
    -cook until golden (don't go away, they might burn)
    -Fast, Easy, Delicious

  • Favourite Recipes
    See above, ratatouille, moussaka, baba ganoush... the beauty of eggplant is that it is a very mild flavoured veggie, and it absorbs all flavours that you mix with it!

    More recipes to come, please share yours!