Q. At the market recently I found some tiny eggplants and bought them because they looked good. I have had them before in Thai curry dishes. What else can you do with them? — D. H.
A. These baby eggplants, the size of large hen or duck eggs, are tempting — they’re glossy, deep purple and identical to the large eggplant in shape. A Thai curry might contain slices of these, but usually Thai eggplant is used. These are glossy and small, but green.
The little purple eggplants have a mellow flavor that tastes good in a curry or a stir-fry. I’ve sliced and sautéed them and put them in a casserole with tomato sauce and cheese, just as you would using larger eggplant. Slice them and stir fry with shrimp, snow peas and garlic, and add a little hoisin sauce for a simple and quick dish. I’ve also sliced them and sautéed with onions, peppers and other vegetables to stuff into a pita sandwich.
Did you know that you can “sex” an eggplant? Here’s how, from Cook’s Thesaurus:
“Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds, and are therefore less bitter than female eggplants. To sex an eggplant, look at the indentation at bottom. If it’s deep and shaped like a dash, it’s a female. If it’s shallow and round, it’s a male. Smaller eggplants also tend to be less bitter. Freshness is important, so don’t store them for very long.”