Eggplant has slightly bitter flavor and spongy texture that many people say that they don’t care for, but how many of these people have had eggplant dishes that have been prepared so that the eggplant becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor…so that the eggplant absorbs cooking fats and sauces to enhance its flavor.
Eggplant can be cooked many different ways, including…
- deep frying
- pan frying
In the next few posts we will be looking at the other cooking methods mentioned above as well as some recipes using eggplant….recipes including\ Eggplant Parmesan and Ratatouille.
But before you can make any of these dishes, you must obviously have an eggplant, right?!
When choosing an eggplant, look for one that is firm and somewhat heavy for its size…with smooth, glossy skin and an intense purple color….stay away from any eggplants that are withered, bruised, or discolored.
Once you get your eggplant home, stick it in the refrigerator until ready to use it.
And before you start cooking with eggplant, there are two important facts to remember.
First of all, you need to remove any bitter taste from the eggplant that you can. You can do this by first washing the eggplant, trimming off the green end, and perhaps peeling the skin. This will keep your eggplant from being as bitter and also will keep the eggplant from absorbing too much oil as it is being cooked.
Then slice the eggplant into 1/2″ disks and set them in a colander or on a cooling rack set over baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. This process is known as “sweating.” Before you start cooking, remove any moisture from the surface of the eggplant,
Another way to keep the eggplant from being so bitter and to help the eggplant maintain its shape as it is being cooked is to soak the eggplant in salt water. This process is called “brining,”
Also always use only a stainless steel knife to cut your eggplant. This will keep the eggplant from turning black.