Also known as tomatoes and eggplants in my word (+ peppers, white potatoes and any spices made from peppers, like paprika, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper).
Yes, tomatoes and eggplants in the same family and related.
There’s a whole wide eggplant world out there aside from the Globe/American eggplant that is typical at the grocery store. Go to your local farmers market to find Italian, Japanese, Rosa Bianca, Indian, Thai, white, graffiti/Sicilian, fairy tale, Little green and more! The flavor is generally pretty consistent though they can range from sweet to bitter and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes!
Choosing eggplant: Whatever color and shape of eggplant you're buying, always choose eggplants that have smooth, shiny skin and feel heavy for their size.
They are more than 15,000 known varieties of tomatoes (WHOA!). Heirloom tomatoes really DO come in every color of the rainbow! They range in flavor range from mild to sweet to tangy and even smoky, with vary degrees of acidity.
I have a *thang* for rainbow tomatoes!
Season: summer and early fall is peak eggplant and tomato season though you’ll find varieties of nightshades available year round.
Prep: raw, grilled, roasted, confit, poached, braised, steamed, sautéed.