Think you don’t like eggplant? Think again.

Try these in-season varieties before you give up on the vegetable altogether

Garden variety globe (aka American) eggplants are at home in ratatouille or baba ganoush year round.

But summer’s when smaller breeds shine. The payoff: thin skin, creamy texture, and sweet ­flesh.

Italian eggplants (top left), which look like small globe eggplants, are less bitter than their American kin.

■ Long, skinny Chinese and Japanese eggplants (top right) range from purple to nearly black. With more skin and less­ flesh, they stay intact while cooking—perfect for stir-frying.

■ Striped fairy tale eggplants (bottom right) fit in the palm of your hand. Just halve lengthwise and grill or sauté.

■ Think of graffiti eggplants (bottom left) as larger fairy tales. Use them in any recipe that calls for globes or Italians.

The best eggplants have taut skin and are heavy for their size, like a full-to-bursting water balloon.

Vitamin-wise, eggplants aren’t kale class overachievers. But any vegetable’s a good vegetable. Like other non-starchy veggies, water-rich eggplant supplies fiber (2 grams per cup) and ­flavor for hardly any calories (just 35).

One taste, and you’ll put eggplants on repeat from now through October.

Photos ( clockwise from top left): Svetlana Kolpakova, yuriygolub, EwaStudio, Rosemarie.

The information in this post first appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

Find this article interesting and useful?
Nutrition Action Healthletter subscribers regularly get sound, timely information about staying healthy with diet and exercise, delicious recipes, and the inside scoop on healthy and unhealthy foods in supermarkets and restaurants. If you don’t already subscribe to the world’s most popular nutrition newsletter, click here to join hundreds of thousands of fellow health-conscious consumers.

Have a comment, question, or idea?
Send us an email at While we can’t respond to every email, we’ll be sure to read your message.