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Eggplants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors — like these Japanese eggplants.

Wisconsin State Journal file photo

The September Harvest of the Month for the Coulee Region Farm2School program is eggplant. The most common type of eggplant in the U.S. is the Black Magic variety, which is long, plump and deep purple. But there are many other varieties, such as the Thai eggplant, which is purple and the size of a golf ball. The skin on eggplant is edible but may become bitter, so many recipes call for peeled eggplant. Eggplant can be grilled, baked, roasted, fried or sauteed. For more information, check out laxf2s.org.

Baba ganoush (eggplant dip)

Serves: 10

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants

3 tablespoons olive oil

⅓ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Juice from 2 lemons (about ½ cup)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rub the outside of whole, unpeeled eggplants with olive oil and place them in a roasting pan. Roast the eggplant until the skin has charred and the interior is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool. Peel and seed the cooled eggplant, roughly chop the flesh, and then transfer to the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process the mixture to a coarse paste, adding water or more olive oil as needed to allow the mixture to blend. Serve as a dip or use as a tasty spread for sandwiches!

Nutrition information: Per serving: 120 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 120 mg sodium

Coulee Region Farm2School is a partnership between La Crosse County Health Department, Mayo Clinic Health System–Franciscan Healthcare, Gundersen Health System and the School Districts of Bangor, Holmen, La Crescent-Hokah, La Crosse, Onalaska and West Salem. Questions? Please contact Maggie Smith, CHES (608) 785-9792.

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