Eggplant is not only a wonderfully international food, it's also versatile. Add it to soups and pasta dishes or use it as the basis for hearty meatless casseroles and other entrees. Vegetarians value its rich, deep flavor as an excellent substitute for meat. The elegantly shaped, often gorgeously colored, glossy fruits vary from large oval teardrop-shape to small round grape size. And the mature color can range from white to purple, pink, striped, green, or orange. The plant needs heat and humidity to grow well.