Vegetable Sex

Girl eggplants? Boy eggplants? Peppers with three lobes—or four? Does one taste better than the other? Is one for cooking and the other for eating raw? And what does all this have to do with plant sex?

As I’ve been perusing Pinterest and adding things to my “Bad Advice” board, I discovered a bunch of discussion about “male” vs. “female” eggplants and peppers. We’re talking about the fruit—the eggplants or peppers that we eat—not the individual plants on which the veggies grew. I hate to burst their bubble, but eggplants and peppers don’t have gender. (Actually, the plants are’t male or female, either.)

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Moroccan Tomato & Eggplant “Salad”

Vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh eggplant (that haven’t hiked all the way here from Mexico) are two of my favorite things about late summer. Here’s an unusual recipe that uses both. Don’t be put off by the eggplant. My husband, an avowed eggplant-avoider, loves it this way. (Be sure to read down for tips on picking out an eggplant.)

The traditional way to eat this stuff is with your fingers. Please do this. Somehow, it just doesn’t taste the same with a fork or spoon. Provide warm water and towels to guests for cleaning up afterward.
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