September’s “Fruit” Salad: In-Season Eggplant

Sweetgreen salad shops’ monthly salad puts the spotlight on New Jersey eggplant

Sweetgreen, the farm-to-table organic salad and frozen yogurt shop, have developed a loyal following for its monthly salads, the main ingredient for which is always the produce currently at its most ripe and flavorful.  For September, it’s the eggplant – which so many people call a vegetable but is actually a fruit.  Fun fact: eggplants are actually classified as berries and grow on a vine.  Like a tomato, the eggplant is part of the nightshade family.

Dedicated to emphasizing local produce whenever possible, Sweetgreen sources its eggplants – the traditional purple, teardrop-shaped variety – from J.S. Petranglo Farms in Vineland, New Jersey, a few hours away from the majority of Sweetgreen locations in the DC-metro area.  The state of New Jersey, of course, is one of the leading growers of eggplant.

Sweetgreen’s September salad combines diced roasted eggplant with mesclun greens, sliced tomatoes, chopped peppers, fresh basil and parmesan cheese, drizzled with a lemon hummus vinaigrette.

Nutritionist’s note: One cup of cubed eggplant has just 20 calories, but 3 grams of fiber, and 5 percent of the daily doses of both potassium and folate.  Eggplant is also rich in flavonoids.

At every location, Sweetgreen makes an operation-wide effort to leave a gentle footprint on the planet. By using compostable packaging, design details and furniture made from reclaimed materials, and wind energy offset credits to power the stores, Sweetgreen continually aims to raise the bar in sustainability business practices.

Sweetgreen is re-defining the concept of fresh-casual cuisine. With a menu of sustainable food including salads and organic frozen yogurt with unique and seasonal toppings, Sweetgreen makes choosing to eat healthy and delicious food, simple.  Founded in 2007 by Georgetown University seniors Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru, Sweetgreen has grown from a single location to 13 current, open locations in the Washington, DC-metro and Philadelphia areas.  The newest Sweetgreen opens at Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia this fall.  For more information, visit