About: Eggplants (Italian Globe, Japanese)

Eggplant is sometimes maligned for having a bad texture and little flavor of its own. I disagree since baba ganoush for instance, is primarily roasted eggplant with a few other key ingredients but the eggplant itself, texture and flavor, really shine in this form. Eggplant does absorb other flavors readily and well and has a unusual texture but these qualities can be appealing if prepared well.

 

There are more traditional preparations such as ratatouille, or you can branch out and use eggplant in Indian or Thai curries or make Chinese inspired dishes for which the smaller or long skinny Japanese eggplants are best.

 

There is much talk about salting eggplant for 30 minutes or more before cooking for two reasons; to reduce the potential bitterness and to reduce the moisture content to prevent the eggplant slices from absorbing so much oil. This is unnecessary with eggplants you get at the market or in a CSA because they are usually so fresh (I think bitterness increases with age) and with a good, heavy skillets and a close eye (or the use of your broiler) you can pan fry eggplant with fairly little oil. Eggplant keeps for a quite a while before going bad, at least from what’s visible on the outside, however the seeds darken and the center gets spongy as it sits.