Veggie Type: Nightshade. Botanically speaking, a berry.
Peak months: July-September
Uses: The texture and versatility of eggplant make it a great meat substitute. Try it pan-fried with breadcrumbs or grilled and used in a cheesy panini. Other popular eggplant recipes are Eggplant Parmesan, Ratatouille, and Baba Ghanoush.
Storage: Though eggplants look tough, they actually bruise easily and are best eaten soon after you get them. You can store them, unwashed and uncut, in a cool, dark place for 1-2 days or loosely wrapped in the produce drawer for 5-7 days. Mold on the stem or a dimpled exterior are indications that the eggplant may be getting too old to eat. To assess it, cut into it. Patches of brown around the seeds are normal, but if there are large areas of brown flesh, mushiness, or sponginess, it’s past its prime. Keep in mind though, that eggplant will oxidize and turn brown once it’s exposed to air (just like an apple) and that’s normal.