This stunningly beautiful member of the nightshade family is a wonderful vegetable to prepare in the hot summer months. It can be enjoyed grilled, broiled, pureed, pan fried, or even raw. It can take on the texture of a steak or thick slice of meat depending on how it’s prepared. It’s most common in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African and Asian cooking. However, it’s diverse enough to be enjoyed in many other types of cuisine. It comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and the skin is edible—though if the eggplant isn’t fresh the skin can become bitter in which case it’s a good idea to peel it.