Eggplant, or aubergine in French, is most often used as a vegetable, but it is actually a fruit. A native of India, it comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors — from white, yellow, green, reddish purple to dark purple. Eggplant is in season from June through October.
It’s rather bitter raw but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich flavor and nice texture making it a versatile ingredient in many styles of cooking. Eggplant is popular in various cuisines:
- Japanese (miso nasu)
- French (ratatouille)
- Greek (moussaka)
- Italian (melanzane alla parmigiana)
- Indian (baingan bharta)
Eggplants are low in calories and fat and a good source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C. The purple variety is rich in healthy anthocyanins, the blue-purple-black antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables, such as purple grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and black rice. Try some if you haven’t already! Here’s a recipe for Eggplant Italiano.
Karen’s Fit Tip: For a great tasting aubergine spread, try Marin Gourmet’s Fire-Roasted Eggplant & Garlic.