Efisio Farris, the executive chef at Arcodoro in Houston, says that his mother used only eggplants from the first pick of the season (le primizie
) for this dish because of their supple texture and earthy-sweet flavor without a hint of bitterness. But if you don’t have the primizie
option, you should seek out firm, heavy eggplants with smooth, evenly colored skin. Check for ripeness by pressing them lightly; if this leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ready to use.