Eggplant comes in a variety of colors including white, purple, purple-black, yellowish-white, red or striped. Most eggplants that are cultivated are the dark purple, egg shaped variety, but skinny long Japanese eggplant is popular as well. When selecting eggplant look for glossy, dark color skin that covers the entire fruit. Heaviness and firmness is also important in selecting eggplant. Eggplants with a diameter of three to six inches will have fewer seeds and firmer texture.
Store eggplant in the refrigerator unwashed and in a sealed plastic bag for up to a week.
Eggplant is a good substitute for meat in many dishes. Cut large eggplant in half and stuff with meat, fish or vegetables. Smaller eggplant can be cooked or stuffed for individual servings. Eggplant can be baked, broiled, scalloped, marinated or sautéed and topped with a variety of toppings including cheese, creamed mushrooms, sour cream and or tomatoes.