Long, slender, purple fruits from southern Italy
EGGPLANT Slim Jim (Solanum melongena) is a terrific dwarf aubergine variety from Italy – an award-winning all-rounder in the patio vegetable category. Its dark-purple foliage and clusters of long, slim, purple fruits make it a perfectchoice for ornamental and decorative gardens. Even though the variety’s origins are not clear, most accounts agree that it is southern-Italian in origin and was first introduced by Italian seed
company Fratelli Ingegnoli. Aubergines originated in Asia, being recorded first in the 6 th century Chinese agricultural treatise Qímín Yàoshù. The plant was introduced to the Mediterranean region by Arabs in the Middle Ages. Aubergines have a somewhat unusual reputation in Italy –
historically, it was thought that the whole plant could cause insanity. The name melanzana is derived from mela insane, meaning ‘insane apple’!
Plant size Height 70cm, Width 45cm
Container size Height 30 cm, Width 30 cm
Companion plant Basil, peppers, okra, mints, thyme, catnip
Sowing Indoor Mar-Apr
Despite its historical reputation for causing insanity, aubergines are rich in nutrients and can be
How to eat
Even though fried aubergine is famous throughout the world as a key ingredient in parmigiana, the thin and firm Slim Jim variety lends itself to many culinary uses – try it pickled with garlic and oregano, roast it gently to make a delicious dip, or grill it and dress with olive oil and parsley.