The beautiful purple or white eggplant is intriguing because it’s actually a fruit used as a vegetable.

Technically, I hear it’s really a berry. The original plants produced fruit about the size of eggs and they were called egg fruit.

Other names for eggplants are aubergine and guinea squash.

We now see eggplant in all colors and sizes.

The shiny beauties range from the miniviolet eggplants that are great for grilling to the standard dark purple eggplants that I used in this recipe.

Instead of discarding the eggplant peeling, I sometimes cut it in half, hollow it out and use the eggplant shell as a container to serve the dressing in. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, you can just peel the eggplant and serve it from a casserole. The eggplant pulp cooks with the meat and seasoning, then it’s folded into the cooked rice.