The eggplant, or aubergine as it is called in France, is a vegetable valued for its taste and texture. However, early varieties of eggplant didn’t have the same culinary appeal as they do today. Due to its bitter taste, Europeans tended to grow eggplants for their decorative properties rather than their culinary use. It wasn’t until new varieties were developed in the 18th century that the eggplant lost a bit of its sour flavor and reputation.

One of the most popular varieties of eggplant in North America is ‘egg-shaped,’ with its glossy, purple skin. In addition to this variety, eggplants come in a range of other colors, like lavender, jade green, orange, and yellow-white, as well as in sizes and shapes that range from a small tomato to a large zucchini.

When choosing eggplants, pick those that are heavy for their size with skin that is smooth, shiny, and brightly colored. To test the ripeness, gently press the skin with your thumb. A ripe eggplant will spring back and not leave an indentation. Unwashed eggplant can be stored in a cool place or inside the refrigerator crisper for up to 5 days.

In Season

June, July, August, September, October

Recipes with Eggplant

Smoked Eggplant Borek

Joyce Goldstein, chef and author

Eggplant Terrine

Liz Ozanich, McCormick and Kuleto’s Restaurant

Harissa-Marinated Lamb Skewers with Grilled Eggplant Toast and Tomato Salad

Sarah Henkin, CUESA’s Market Chef.

Eggplant Involtini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Almonds

Linda Hillel, Chef Instructor.

Articles about Eggplant

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.

July 02, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Rafael Zuniga

Rafael’s passion for good food stems from his work with children and youth.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »