The eggplant: A most delicious, sweet little item

Chef Chris Feldmeier shares pointers for cooking different kinds of eggplant at his restaurant, Moruno. Then Noah Schaner shares tips for how to grow the nightshade on his family farm in Valley Center, Calif.

Eggplants come in many different shapes, colors and sizes. Chef Chris Feldmeier says the big meaty varieties have thick skins that withstand the flames of Moruno’s scorching hot grill. When blackened, the eggplants develop nice chars that are used in the smoky horseradish baba ganoush on the menu at Moruno. Feldmeier opts to roast the smaller varieties — especially the purple-and-white speckled Fairy Tale, which he calls a “most delicious, sweet little item” — because they are less bitter, absorb less oil and they look good on the plate. We are at the height of the eggplant season in Southern California, so rest assured you’ll go home with something good regardless of the variety you choose. Find Feldmeier’s baby eggplant rescoldo — that’s his take on the mixed grill dish from Jerusalem — recipe here.

Eggplant photo (top) by Liz West for Wikimedia Commons.