They're not so tasty raw, but that doesn't mean they can't be eaten raw. So keep eating eggplant! It's delicious in many forms.
Is Raw Eggplant Poisonous?
Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta
Turn leftover Eggplant & Chickpea Stew into a comforting vegetarian baked-pasta dish. We love the taste of mint with the other Mediterranean flavors, but you can use parsley or basil if you prefer.
Get the Recipe: Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta
Spiced Eggplant Lentil Salad with Mango
Spiced eggplant, lentils and mangoes combine deliciously in this Indian-inspired vegetarian salad. Customize the spiciness of this by choosing mild, medium or hot versions of salsa, chili powders and curry powder.
Get the Recipe: Spiced Eggplant Lentil Salad with Mango
New York City 's Torrisi Italian Specialties uses only American ingredients in virtually all of its dishes. Its basil-rich eggplant parmesan, also delicious on a toasted roll, calls for Progresso Italian Style bread crumbs and SarVecchio parmesan from Wisconsin.
Get the Recipe: Eggplant Parm Recipe
Part of HuffPost Food Group
False, raw eggplants are not poisonous. However, the leaves and flowers of the plant can be toxic. Plants in the nightshade family -- which includes eggplants, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos -- contain an alkaloid called solanine, which in very large doses can be poisonous. For the average adult, 400 mg of solanine would be life-threatening. Vegetables in the nightshade family contain anywhere from 2 to 13mg of solanine and eggplants contain 11mg at the most. So you would have to eat 36 raw eggplants to cause any harm.
Therefore, there's no need to be concerned about eating reasonable amounts of raw eggplant. You should, however, be wary of green potatoes. They turn green when they're exposed to the light, skyrocketing their solanine levels -- so eating green potatoes is not recommended. Neither is eating the leaves of any nightshade plant.
There are some people -- a very small percentage of the population -- who are allergic to nightshade vegetables and cannot eat them. Other people might find that brushing up against the plants causes skin irritation, but it's no more than itching. As we know, these vegetables are not poisonous, otherwise we wouldn't be eating potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, etc.
We of course do enjoy fresh tomatoes raw, but potatoes and eggplants? They're not so tasty raw, but that doesn't mean they can't be eaten raw. So the moral of the story is ... keep eating eggplant! It's delicious in many forms.
Check out the slideshow above for eggplant recipes you can try on your own!