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Eggplant is a spongy vegetable with a waxy, purple skin. It is a staple in Mediterranean cuisines and adds a firm and creamy texture, even when cooked. Eggplant is typically ready for harvest in Ontario in mid-Summer to late-Summer, depending on growing conditions.
Eggplant can be used many ways. It can be stewed, roasted, or added into casserole type dishes. It is one of the main traditional ingredients of French ratatouille and Greek moussaka. Eggplant can also be added to pasta dishes, is very absorbent, and is a favourite among vegetarians and vegans.
Eggplants come in many different shapes, colours, and varieties. They were first domesticated in Asia and also originate from the Mediterranean and mid-Eastern regions, and are now grown around the world. Eggplant is technically a berry, and has been selectively cultivated to bear fruit with more volume. The most common varieties available to Canadians is 'globe' eggplants or 'Italian' eggplants, however eggplant varieties can also be found the size of eggs, or long and skinny, or coloured white, green, or striped.