Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on March 26, 2009. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Slim Jim eggplant gets Mississippi Medallion
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Whether you are interested in an edible landscape or a plain old vegetable garden, you will want to try the 2009 Mississippi Medallion award-winning Slim Jim eggplant.
Slim Jim is the fifth vegetable to win the Mississippi Medallion award. The others are Purple Ruffles basil, Mini Charm tomato, Tequila bell pepper and Red Giant mustard. You'll find these and other vegetables and herbs at your local garden center.
Slim Jim eggplant is an exceptional variety offering dark purple foliage rather than the typical green of other eggplants. This foliage allows it to be grown as an ornamental. Try partnering it with orange or yellow flowers for a dazzling complementary color combination. The 2009 Mississippi Medallion award-winning Flambe chrysocephalum is a good choice.
The foliage isn't the only selling point as the plant features iridescent lavender-violet blossoms that give way to long, slender eggplant fruit. Slim Jim is an early variety that performs best in full sun with fertile, well-drained soil.
Slim Jim will reach around 36 inches tall and should be spaced 24 to 36 inches apart. Feed by side-dressing with a little fertilizer when half grown and again with first harvest.
Slim Jim has a mild flavor. When the fruit is 4 to 5 inches long, harvest it using a sharp knife or pruning shears rather than twisting. Make your cut above the cap. Slim Jim produces a bounty of fruit perfect for frying Southern style or making that delicious eggplant Parmesan. Another fun dish is eggplant pizza.
Because of its highly ornamental properties, Slim Jim excels as the thriller plant in mixed containers. If you desire an edible container, then try combining it with herbs like yellow-flowered Mexican tarragon, oregano and creeping thyme as the spiller plant.
Vegetable gardening really took off last year for the first time in over a decade, and you can get on the bandwagon, too. Look for Slim Jim eggplant point of purchase materials directing you to this 2009 Mississippi Medallion award winner.
Slim Jim is the 50th winner in this award program that began in 1996 with the announcement of Blue Daze evolvulus and New Gold lantana as winners. The Mississippi Medallion award program is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Mississippi Plant Selections Committee.
Slim Jim Eggplant Pizza
3 to 5 tender Slim Jim eggplants
1 onion sliced into rings
1 bell pepper sliced into rings
1 medium tomato, sliced
8 oz. pkg. mozzarella cheese
4 (8 oz.) pkg. Parmesan cheese
Chopped basil leaves
4 oz. tomato sauce
Garlic as desired
Slice Slim Jim eggplant 1/8-inch thick. Grease pizza pan or cake pan. Lay eggplant on bottom of pan after coating with oil. Broil at 400 degrees until brown on each side. Remove from oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer onion slices, pepper rings and tomatoes over the broiled eggplant. Pour sauce over the top and bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle seasonings. Cover with cheese and bake until cheese melts. Serve with salad and garlic bread.