This purple black glossy vegetable of the Nightshade family has a mild flavour similar to that of fried oysters and is often substituted for meat. It is a staple of Italian cuisine and a favourite of those who enjoy the taste of robust vegetables. It is a great companion to tomato dishes and sauces.
Eggplants must never be allowed to dry out, especially while fruit is setting, as this produces inferior fruits or none at all. Eggplants should be spaced 75cm apart in rows set 90cm apart and grown in a deep, rich soil that is moist but well drained. To conserve moisture and to protect the young seedlings from wind damage, a deep mulch of straw or hay should be applied in the spring.
Eggplants can be prepared in many ways – in stews, roasted or grilled, sautéed, stir-fried, breaded and fried, baked, pickled or stuffed. They can be spectacular centerpieces in large containers and very effective in flower garden settings.
|Harvest||Eggplants should be harvested when young, as soon as the skin has attained a high gloss. Not only is the flesh more tender and the seeds smaller, but the plant will produce more fruits if kept picked.|
|Position||Part to Full Sun|