While most of us are familiar with the large, purple variety of eggplant, the award for most twee specimen goes to the Fairy Tale eggplant. They are so small, you can roast them whole, making them in a snap, bypassing the salting step. If you're in the mood for a more substantial vegetarian dish, eggplant is a star with its substantial, meaty flesh. Pureed, the vegetable also makes for a great dip or spread à la baba ghanoush.
Look for firm eggplants with a smooth texture and unbroken skin. Store them in a cool, dry environment, but put them in a warmer section (the front) of the fridge if you're not going to eat them within a week. Salting the prepped eggplant before cooking helps to reduce the sometimes bitter flavor older eggplant may have, and gets rid of excess liquid. Remember to wash off the salt afterward!
Eggplant is notorious for the amount of oil it absorbs when fried so I've included recipes that explore other methods of cooking, as well as helpful preparation tips (including more details on the salting technique). After the jump, eggplants for everyone!
- Eggplant Baingan Kachri
- Chinese Eggplant with Garlic and Ginger Sauce
- Eggplant Lamb Lavash Wraps
- Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce
- Broiled Eggplant Japonaise
- Steamed Spicy Eggplant
- Bottega Caponata
- Eggplant and Goat Cheese Spirals
Do you have any eggplant dishes you love to make?