Eggplants are almost the only purple vegetable I can think of (kohlrabi is another). It is such a beautiful deep dark purple shiny color on the outside, and a pale soft green/beige inside. Eggplants soak up so much oil in cooking, there are stories in the 1,001 Tales of the Arabian Nights about them. Eggplant parmigiana is a favorite, and ratatouille, and then we discovered eggplant brushed with olive oil and garlic and grilled (even better with grilled red peppers). And here in the south, there is an eggplant casserole, although it usually has more bread than eggplant in it.
However, they also come in a smaller white version…and I’ve read that eggplants were originally called eggplants because they only came in white and they actually looked like eggs hanging on the plant. The white ones are smaller and firmer, and are now a trendy vegetable, and the purple ones are more common. There were also some even smaller tender green ones in the CSA bag.
They go beautifully with tomatoes – as mentioned above in parmigiana and ratatouille, and that is what I will do with these eggplants, only because I am not planning to grill anything soon.