I have a some eggplants on the tree for a while now and they do not seem to have grown much. How can you tell when they are ripe? The variety I am growing is Black Beauty.
linchat, you can harvest even baby size. What you need to watch out for is if they are too ripe. They turn a slightly brown, dull color when the seeds are ripe for planting, but too bitter for eating.
I read somewhere that if you can press on the flesh and it springs back then it is ripe. But only one place I read that so it did not seem to be a consensus view. Any thoughts.
I have seen several recipes that call for baby eggplant. I think they are ready at any size until they get old and dull. They are not like a tomato that turns color when ripe. They are more like a zuchini that you can pick at any size until they get too big and old. They become bitter once the color turns brown-ish.
It won't kill you, so go ahead and give it a try. If you are afraid, I'll be happy to come over and eat it for you since mine aren't anywhere near ready yet! ; )
There Mine, ALL MINE! :)
I have been eating them smaller but I read (again :)) somewhere that they should be eaten closer to maturity. I am pretty sure this came from the macrobiotics community, but hey, who knows, they could be right. Same premise for peppers, should be eaten ripe. Honestly I have been eating this stuff my whole life at any stage. Go figure...
I think these same folks will not touch nightshades. WE ARE FROM THE SOUTH DARNIT! We have no choice! :)
Eggplants are ready when you want to harvest them. Pick them small or large, but before they start to turn brown. When we lived in NJ, we picked the first ones in April and the last ones in November. Some were so small that you just cut them in half and baked them. Others were large enough to get a dozen slices over a quarter of an inch thick.