White Eggplant

by Daisy

There it was, at the feed store.  A small eggplant seedling in a black plastic pot.

The first rule in edible gardening, in my opinion, is only grow what you like to eat.

Having had more than my share of bad eggplant experiences, I’m a little put off by the curious flavor and texture of this fruit.

So I hesitated.  Then I grabbed it.  Selflessness won out.  My husband loves eggplant.  I’ll give it a go.  Besides, what’s one little eggplant plant?

Turns out there were actually three little seedlings in there.  I teased them apart and planted them in a bed to themselves (except for some surrounding leeks) and waited and watered and watched.  It took seemingly forever for them to get established and I was sure the cat(tle) would tramp them down several times, but they survived.

Did they ever.  Look how huge:

I decided early on to stake them, based on various sources that said the fruit gets rather heavy and can pull them over and I’m glad I did.

I knew from the plant label that they were a white variety and have been very pleasantly surprised with the lack of bitterness and the beauty of these little globular things.  The white variety is known for its dense flesh that doesn’t need sweating to remove excess moisture like the purple kind, less discoloration when cut, and a slightly tougher skin.

I kind of like the tough skin, but I’m the one who prefers the dessicated bit of lasagne in the corner that turned to shoe leather, so most of you should probably peel yours.

My favorite way to prepare this is roasted with garlic.  Delicious even for an eggplant skeptic.  Put this on your plant list for next spring.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jin6655321 July 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

Whoa! I’ve never seen white ones before! They really do look like eggs.

LisaPie July 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

I love the white eggplant. The first time I saw them it hit me as to how it got its name! When we lived in Argentina there were about 5 or 6 different varieties of eggplant at the grocery stores. Purple, white, lavender, striped, skinny, fat, all kinds.

I am definitely with your husband on the eggplant. One of my favorites is to fry the rounds still crispy on the outside, then slice longways into small fried spears. Toss these with penne and a little bit of whatever sauce you want.

Eva July 26, 2010 at 10:39 am

They look delicious! I LOVE eggplants, especially white ones. My best way of cooking them is slicing them and put them straight on the grill-summer food. Marinate with balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil and garlic and you have a winner!

Sharona July 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

All of the light colored eggplants lack that icky bitterness. They are the only ones I will grow: light green, white, pink, and light purple. Make sure you pick before they start getting a yellow tint. We love them marinated in balsamic vinagrette, and then grilled well done.

Tanya Walton July 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I have to admit to not really knowing what eggplant was and I have never tried it….would it be possible to grow it in the uk?? If so any idea where I could get seeds from??

Tomato Lady July 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Tanya–They’re just aubergines. I heard we call them eggplant here because the only variety we had back in the day when they became known were white like this one, and a bit smaller, just like eggs.

Jennifer Rizzo July 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I love that variety of eggplant a lot. My second favorite is rosa bianca an heirloom. It’s not bitter at all.

brandi July 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm

These are beautiful!

JavaLady July 26, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Wowzzzha !! I like the looks of this plant. And if it tastes as good as y’all say it does, then it does need to go into my garden next year, along with something the lady at the farmer’s market called “Louisiana Eggplant.” The Louisana one is a small, long, lite pale green egg plant… with meat about the size of a standard cucumber. It surely does taste good without the bitterness of the purple ones. To think a year ago, I wouldn’t even buy an egg plant to cook much less grow one and now I know two varieties that I want to grow next year.

Tanya Walton July 27, 2010 at 12:11 am

oh…now I feel dumb *laughs* well I have an aubergine doing not very much in the the allotment so maybe next year I should try it in the greenhouse…thanks for letting me know…now I can wow everyone by telling them I am growing ‘Eggplant’ …. lol

Tomato Lady July 27, 2010 at 9:57 am

Tanya–Oh, well, as they say, we are two nations divided by a common language! I find the differences to be quite charming and enjoy the interesting terminology variances. Around here, I would feel quite fancy serving a dish of aubergines!

jan July 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm

They look beautiful!
I love eggplant and hope to try some next year in my little garden. I decided not to plant squash again, because the plants take over half my garden spot, they only bear a few fruit, then they die. Eggplant is my choice to replace the squash. Are the plants hardy, or are they very buggy like squash?

Tomato Lady July 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

jan–I haven’t had bug problems, nothing like squash. They seem very hardy. Of course the second I say that something will descend on them, but so far so good!

Annette Triplett @ CoMo Homestead July 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Wow! I’ve only grown eggplant once so I don’t have a ton of experience, but I had no idea the plants could get that big! Nice job! I’ve also been turned off occasionally by the bitterness, so maybe I’ll try growing white eggplant next year.

Maria S October 17, 2010 at 9:35 am

I was lucky enough to get two of these from my CSA this summer when I was growing black beauties in the garden. This was my first year even eating eggplant so it was quite an experience… I went through several bad recipies with the BBs but the whites were FANTASTIC!!! I will never grow BBs again – it is all Snowy Whites for me! Nice to see they worked for you!

Kerri June 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I love the white eggplant so when I saw the seedling I had to have it. It’s growing nicely but the eggplant get about a size of an egg then turns yellow. My one plant has about 10-15 egg size fruit at this time which are slowly turning yellow. Why are the so small? l what can I do to get them bigger?

carol September 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

How big do these grow before I pick them?
Thank you

Tomato Lady September 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

carol–It depends on the type and the growing conditions. Some, like the little fingers type are elongated and only a few inches long at maturity. Easter egg type are about the size of a large egg. If you know the variety, you can do a search and see how large they are supposed to be. Most white eggplants are ready to harvest when they seem to stop getting bigger and before they begin to yellow.

Dave October 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I love the white eggplant. The only way I fix them is an Asian style. I useabout 6 that are about 1 inch in diameter and 3 – 5 inches long. I cut off the stems, peal them, nuke them for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Let the cool, cut them in rings, add a 1/2 tsp of Dashi (check spelling, it is instant Bonito, the store will know what you mean) I get it at an Asian store. hen I pour about 3 Tbsp of Soy over them, mix and refigerate for a couple hours. I serve as a side dish with any Asian food.

Olivia June 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

Growing eggplants is extremely satisfying. They’re beautiful and so are their flowers. A few tips I’ve learned – this is my second season growing them here in St. Louis: Flowers fall off on cool nights (50 or lower), so protect them if a chilly spell is coming; and they’re not super “buggy,” but keep your eye out for spider mites. You’ll start to see fine webs around your stems and leaves, and the leaves themselves will have tiny tiny bites – making it look finely speckled and, eventually, “bronzed.” If you’re unsure, a google image search of “spider mites on eggplant” gives you great examples. We didn’t know what they were and subsequently let it go until it was an infestation. Our beloved plant was on the verge of death! But don’t worry. All you have to do – even in the plant’s death throes – is give it a solid spray with your garden hose. Be careful of buds or flowers, but give those leaves a tough spray. The mites tumble away, and you can then wipe off their webs and eggs by hand. Prune any bronze leaves. My Ghostbuster plant is now three ft tall, happy and green, and bursting with flowers and fruit, and it’s not even July!

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