Grilled Fairytale Eggplant

Once upon a time there was an eggplant so magical mere words were completely inadequate to convey its charm…..
Two years ago at the Boulder Farmer’s Market I came upon some diminutive lavender striped tubular vegetables whose size could be described in no other way but ‘totally cute’.  I had no idea what they might be and then learned they were eggplant; ‘Fairytale Eggplant’.  Well with the name I was a gonner. 

These enchanting little eggplants only grow to about 4 inches in length and are about an inch in diameter.  Their claim to fame?  They do not need to be peeled to be eaten and no special steps are required to leach out any bitterness.  They are perfect to begin with.

For the past two summers I’ve grown my own Fairytale Eggplant (and an equally charming variety called ‘Twinkle’).  I prefer to grill them which could not be easier.  They do not get slimy as some eggplant can as well.  I feel certain once you try them they will cast their spell over you as well!
·         Fairytale eggplant in the amount you would like
·         Olive oil
·         Salt and pepper to taste
1.      Heat the grill to medium. 
2.      Cut eggplant in the ½ inch strips lengthwise.  Brush each side with olive oil and lightly salt and pepper. 
3.      Grill on each side about 1-1 1/2 minutes.  You will note the color change in the flesh from opaque yellowish-white to a more translucent, watery yellow, and in the purple skin to brown.  Do not over grill.


4.      Devour.
Check your local Farmer’s Market right now for availability.  At the Boulder Farmer’s Market you can find them from Abbondanza Farm.  I’d check Whole Foods as well!
These are the Fairytale eggplants in my garden.  The plants are no higher than about 12 inches with the plant on the right ready to harvest (eggplant are about 4 inches long).  The plant on the left has a bit more to grow with the eggplant being about 2-3 inches in length.


  1. says

    Those are absolutely charming!

    I wonder if the plants could work in pots? Of course nice big wide ones. Have you noticed if they have long roots? Maybe a wide but somewhat shallow pot could work (kind of like it does with bush beans.)

    • Anonymous says

      I'm sure a year later you've received an answer to this, but I am growing in a wine barrel – 4 plants fit perfectly – I have a plethora of this tiny wonders!


    • Jodi says

      I’m over here searching for recipes for my fairytale eggplants. They do grow well in containers – mine is doing wonderfully in what I call my “poor man’s topsyturvey” – a 5 gallon pail with holes drilled in it :) My eggplant (and my little tomato) love it!

      • says

        Perfect! I’ve done alot of container growing and there are perfect for them. I love these eggplant. Especially that you can slice and cook them without all the salting business!

  2. says

    Josie Lee: I bet they would work in pots. I have not checked the roots but the plants are so compact the roots can't be that big. I have grown almost all vegetables in large pots with success. Can't imagine these would be any different!

  3. says

    These are too adorable. If not for a last minute show by daughter number two yesterday I was going to feature grilled eggplant on my blog today. Just the boring regular stuff but still. I just love these…and the name too? It's rare to find but this is a totally 'adorable' vegetable!

  4. claris says

    I wanted to add that you can grill Fairytale Eggplant whole. Simply rub olive oil on the skin and stick them on the grill. Turn them 3 or 4 times to get all sides grilled and they will kind of split open. You can simply add salt and pepper or drizzle with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. The eggplant oozes out of the skin and they are a summer delight!
    ps, I love your blog.

  5. says

    For the one who asked, yes, they do grow in pots. I have one in a 12″ pot and it's doing very well. They're just so cute and the flowers are really pretty, too. Thanks for the idea to grill them! So far, I've just sauteed them with zucchini and yellow squash.

  6. Growing.Eggplant.In.Pots says

    I grow vegies in pots and this year I tried the Fairy Tale eggplant. I did not know anything about them but they look interesting. I started two plants with seeds and then transplanted them both in the same pot. It is a really big pot, maybe 10 gal or more. Anyway, I am having excellent results. Next year I will probably plant only 1 in each pot; they will probably do even better. By the way, I live in the Houston, Tx area which means it is HOT and either bone dry or flooding.

    • says

      I have found almost every vegetable can be grown in pots, even corn! This little eggplant would be perfect thanks to its size! I'm not clear if you've eaten any yet but if not I think you'll be in love. I was not an eggplant eater until finding these gems. If it's any consolation this summer has been completely strange with 100 degree temps here, heat we are completely unaccustomed to coupled with a few weeks of wildfire smoke. Crazy!


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