Eggplant (Aubergine) - Round
With an almost unmatched versatility, eggplant is affectionately known as 'the King of Vegetables!' Try grilling, frying, broiling, braising, stewing, stuffing, baking, stir-frying, roasting or barbequing!
How do we make sure we provide top quality eggplant?
Simple - we grow it ourselves! Sam draws on three generations of horticultural experience to grow fresh, tasty and full-flavoured eggplant. When we harvest, we only hand-pick eggplant if it's firm, smooth and has a uniformly coloured skin (colour may vary but it's generally a dark purple colour). The stem and cap must also be green and not dry. For maximum flavour, we make sure the eggplant is heavy for its size and that it does not have tan patches, scars, or bruises (these all indicate early decay). We test firmness by a simple 'squeeze' test: if the eggplant is too firm it is under-ripe, if it's too soft it is over-ripe (and will taste bitter).
Where do we source our eggplants from?
Most of our eggplants come direct from our farm - planted, cultivated and hand-picked by Sam and the team. Eggplants are planted mid-October and are ready to be picked fresh from our farm by Christmas. Weather permitting, the season generally lasts until May. When eggplants are unavailable from our farm, we source our eggplant from a couple of experienced growers around Werribee.
What is the best way to keep eggplant?
Eggplant is best kept uncut and stored at temperatures between 10-12°C. At these conditions, eggplant will last about two weeks. It is possible to store them at lower temperatures, although chilling injury (which is indicated by the browning of the eggplant seeds and surface ‘bronzing’) increases at lower temperatures. Typically when kept at 0-4°C, they will last for about 2-5 days, and at 5-8°C they will last around 6-10 days.
Eggplant nutritional information
Eggplant is high in dietary fibre, folate, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. It’s fantastic for weight loss because it is low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Serving tips and suggestions
Eggplant can be grilled, fried, broiled, braised, stewed, stuffed, baked, stir-fried, roasted or put on the BBQ. It partners well with olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, onion, tomato, peppers, zucchini, basil, corriander, lemon juice, vinegars, Parmesan and feta cheeses - the choices are truly endless! If you're not a fan of eggplant's slightly bitter taste, you can 'sweat' out the bitterness by cutting it to size, sprinkling it with salt and letting it sit for 15 - 30 minutes; the salt pulls out the moisture and bitterness of the eggplant.