When to pick eggplant?

ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)September 8, 2008

This is my first year with eggplant. I think I have black beauties (whatever is the most common deep purple round one)

The largest so far is about the size of a softball, and it looks like I'm going to have plenty more on just 2 plants!

How do I know when it's time to pick them? I'd hate to wait too long and have them go bitter or something!

Also, does anyone have ideas on how to freeze them? Should I salt, blanch and freeze? Uses for frozen eggplant?

Thanks, Nancy

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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

I don't like eggplant but my brother does, so I had to grow them for a while. If the fruit are softball size, they are plenty big enough. I never noticed any real difference in their disgusting soggy bread flavor and texture regardless of when they were picked. If they get too large, the seeds may tend to harden a little, but that will take quite a while. Just pick a few at varying sizes and find out which size is the least disgusting.

Rather than freezing them, I would just pull the plants and toss. Had some once that were just diced and frozen, then later they were cooked in a casserole and were no more or less awful than fresh. I would just feed them all to the sheep. If you like them, you might try a casserole, either fresh or frozen, using instant stuffing mix, some croutons, shredded carrots, diced eggplant, some sour cream, and bake. Probably forgetting some other source of moisture, though. Without the eggplant, it is quite a good casserole.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 2:04AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Anytime you want - the younger the better. As it gets larger and older it gets bitter. EP is intended to eat as a young vegetable.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Ah a great receipe for them and eat/freeze. Eggplants can be wonderful. I normally harvest on size before the skin becomes dull color.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Concur with digdirt and mlcom. Never had any problem with bitterness but they do get pithy and seedy as they begin to ripen (change color). Here is a technique for freezing that works pretty well

Here is a link that might be useful: Freezing Eggplant

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:27AM
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In addition to the advice in the above postings I will add something from my experience in general since there are so many varieties of egg plants,small and big spherical to short and long cylindrical.Look for hardness as eggplant grows in size,they become little harder as they grow, pick the harder eggplants from the lot.Once you pick first crop water the plants and fertilise if necessry.Wait for 5 to 7 days after first picking and repeate the process. Secondaly they stop growing in size after some time.Now the information here and in above postings will provide some help in judging the picking time.This is from my experience.You may develop your own schedule for picking time after reviewing all these and similar info. from IT search engines.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:03AM
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After they are picked, refrigerate or not?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:17PM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

Thanks for the replies. I'll pick the largest this weekend and see how it comes out.
Thanks farmerdilla for the freezer site and, beeone, I have goats and geese next door "just in case"! LOLOLOL Nancy

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:43PM
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