Don’t transplant these heat-lovers outdoors until night temperatures stay securely above 55° (13°C). Prepare soil well with aged manure or compost. Plant only robust seedlings with well-developed roots and mulch well. Fertilize plants regularly throughout the season.
HARVEST AND USE
Pick when fruits have sized up and are firm fleshed and glossy. Slice 1/2 inch thick, brush with olive oil and broil until tender. Then layer with a rich tomato sauce, fresh herbs and several cheeses to make Eggplant Parmesan. Bake whole in a hot oven, then scoop out flesh and mash with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley for a savory dip to serve on toasted pita bread.