Colorful eggplant in an unusual salad

The color of eggplant can vary from dark purple to red, or even a yellowish or white hue, but the purple eggplant, most commonly available, should be a clear, dark, glossy color. Choose those about 3 to 6 inches in diameter.

Eggplant will not last long in the refrigerator, and because of this should be purchased just prior to use.

Preparation is easy: It can be boiled, sauteed, or prepared in the oven, and also served in a variety of main dishes.

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Here is one way to enjoy fresh eggplant. Stuffed Eggplant Salad 2 large eggplants 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions 2 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon sugar 1/3 cup oil 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 teaspoons oregano

Place eggplants on baking sheet. Bake in 375-degree F. oven 35 to 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with fork. Cool.

Cut a lengthwise slice from the side of each eggplant and carefully remove inside pulp. Dice pulp and mix with tomatoes and remaining ingredients.

Chill eggplant mixture and eggplant shells. Pour off excess liquid from mixture and spoon into eggplant shells to serve. Serves 6.

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