Salting and Roasting Eggplant

Salting and Roasting Eggplant

Eggplant is available in a range of shapes and colors, from small white balls to enormous purple-black specimens. For the best results, whether you intend to roast, pan-fry or grill eggplant, be sure the vegetable is properly handled. Eggplant will discolor once cut, so be sure to work quickly.

Salting Eggplant

Large eggplants can become bitter, as can large cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash. To reduce bitterness, many chefs believe that eggplant (as well as cucumbers and summer squash) should be salted as follows -

  • Slice the ends from the eggplant and discard or slice it in half from one end to the other (depending on the size of the eggplant). Slice or score the eggplant as required by recipe or desired result.

  • Scatter salt liberally over the eggplant, tossing slices to coat them evenly.

  • Place the eggplant in a colander or perforated hotel pan, and (optional) weight the eggplant to help expel its juices. Generally speaking, a few hours is sufficient to draw off any bitterness.

  • Rinse the eggplant well to remove the salt, dry thoroughly and then proceed with cooking.

Roasting Eggplant

Eggplant responds well to roasting. The flesh becomes extremely soft with an appetizing flavor and aroma. To prepare the eggplant for roasting, proceed as follow -

  • Slice the eggplant in half.

  • Score it in a diamond pattern, cutting through most of the flesh, but leaving the skin intact.

  • If desired, rub the cut surface with some olive oil

  • Roast the eggplant cut-side down until softened but not browned.

  • Turn the eggplant cut-side up and continue to roast until the flesh is very soft. It is now ready to puree. If desired, the flesh can be strained after pureeing.

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