cooking with… eggplant
From beautifully glossy globes in hues of rich autumnal violet to the delightful petite pea-green variety, we celebrate eggplants in all shapes and sizes with these warming recipes.
1. BABY GLOBE
A ‘mini me’ to the common globe artichoke, its skin, though similar in colour, is thinner and the flesh is sweeter and less bitter. It’s available from greengrocers.
2. THAI LONG GREEN
These lime-green eggplants are mild and sweet. As the name suggests, this eggplant is great in Thai dishes and curries. Find them in Asian grocers.
These are also known as ‘common’ eggplants and are the most widely available. Buy firm, glossy eggplants as the fresher they are, the less bitter they will be. Find in supermarkets.
With a thick skin and firm white flesh, this eggplant holds its shape when cooking, and has a subtle flavour. Find in select greengrocers, or use baby globe instead.
5. ROSA BIANCA
This heirloom Italian/Sicilian eggplant has purple and white skin and a bulbous shape. It tastes mildly sweet and creamy. You can substitute it with Italian or globe.
6. THAI APPLE / KERMIT
These apple green eggplants are golf-ball sized and are great halved or quartered in Thai curries, and sliced in salads. Available from Asian grocers.
So-called as they look like clusters of large green peas, these eggplants are firm and are often used in Asian cooking, particularly Thai. Find them in Asian grocers.
8. ITALIAN / ANTIGUA
This purple-striped eggplant is smaller than the common globe, with a thin skin and mild, bitter-free soft flesh. Find it in greengrocers and grower’s markets.
9. PURPLE / CHINESE
These pretty coloured eggplants are less bitter than the Japanese and globe eggplants, as they tend to have less seeds. Find them in Asian grocers or greengrocers.
10. JAPANESE / FINGER
This finger-shaped, variety has a sweet, delicate flavour. It is also sold as ‘Lebanese’ eggplant. Find in Asian grocers, greengrocers and some supermarkets.