Enjoying Eggplants From Our Vegetable Garden

Ever since we planted a small vegetable garden in our backyard, it has been fun watching the plants grow each day. And now they are beginning to bear fruit as we were able to pick two fresh eggplants for a quick side dish. We made our favorite grilled eggplant and yogurt salad recipe which turned out to be extra delicious! Here is how it all came about:

Two eggplants that made it to our table today

It’s so much fun to pick ’em up right from the vine!

Now, let us brush a little olive oil

Grill them nice….

Peel the skin off, crush, mix with yogurt and garlic, and garnish with chopped cilantro

It turned out to be great fun and we enjoyed the salad with our dinner!

Here are a few interesting facts about eggplants if you are up for a little food trivia:

  1. Eggplant is actually a fruit, although it is cooked like a vegetable. It belongs to the nightshade family and closely related to potato and tomato.
  2. Eggplant originated in India. China is the largest producer of eggplant in the world. 85% of the world production comes from only 5 countries.
  3. Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing eggplant to the US.
  4. Although not rich in nutrients, eggplants do contain a fair amount of fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins including folic acid, potassium and magnesium.
  5. The raw fruit has a bitter taste due to nicotine compounds. When cooked properly, this bitter taste can be very delicious!
  6. Eggplant contains different types of antioxidants which remove free radicals and protect the body against cell damage. One such antioxidant found in eggplant is called chlorogenic acid which is considered to have anti-cancer and anti microbial properties. It also slows down the release of glucose in the blood after eating.
  7. Another antioxidant found in the skin of the eggplant is called nasunin. It is supposed to be effective in lowering bad cholesterol, although it has not been proven in human trials.
  8. Different names for eggplant – brinjal in India, aubergine in France, melanzana in Italy, meloongen in the Caribbean
  9. Eggplant is high in histamines and is known to cause allergy in skin or mouth. Eggplant leaves are toxic and should not be eaten.
  10. Through its long history, eggplant has sometimes been celebrated as an aphrodisiac and sometimes despised as a cause of insanity. Say what you like, today it is used in many different delicious recipes across the world!

Do you like eggplant? Share your favorite recipe in comments below.

Sources:

Wikipedia
WHFoods
National Garden Bureau

©2010 Littlestomaks.com

2 comments

  1. I like how eggplants come in so many pretty varieties: whites, browns, yellows, purples, greens and stripes. You're right, it's a pleasure to pick such beauties off the vine.

    We grow Lebanese eggplants too. I find them easier to deal with in the kitchen than the giant pear shaped ones. My favourite eggplant recipe at the moment is a green eggplant curry.

    Green Eggplant Curry
    1. Fry up 3-4 sliced Lebanese eggplants with 1-2 cloves garlic until they're golden brown.
    2. Stir in 1 tablespoons of green curry paste then add a can of coconut cream and mix that through.
    3. Add 2 teaspoons each of fish sauce and lime juice.
    4. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
    5. Simmer 10 minutes.
    6. Mix through a cup of shredded basil and a tablespoon of grated ginger just before taking off the heat.
    7. Serve on rice. Yum!

  2. TwinToddlersDad

    Sounds like a delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing

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