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Sometimes we see rather pale and elongated eggplant. Can these be used in the same way as the dark purple ones?

Yes, they can. Throughout the world, outdoor-grown eggplant come in a wide range of sizes and colors. The choice includes tiny white "pea eggplant", larger round ones in green, yellow, white or purple, and slender, elongated shapes in shades of violet, often streaked with cream or pale green. Whatever their shape and color, always look for unblemished skin, a firm texture and a fresh green calix at the stem.

09:30:54 on 11/09/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Many children find the tough skin of eggplant indigestible. Can we peel them before cooking?

Eggplant sliced for grilling tends to fall apart without the skins, but it can be peeled for cutting into cubes and adding to stews. Peeled slices make excellent fritters, the flesh soft within a crisp batter coating. For a Mediterranean dip, grill or roast the vegetable until the skin blisters and can be peeled off, then mash the flesh to a cream with plenty of olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic, and season to taste. Serve with lots of fresh pita bread or slices of Turkish pide.

06:48:28 on 11/09/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why do most recipes recommend salting eggplant slices for half an hour before cooking them? Is this always necessary?

Eggplant grown outdoor in warm climates develops bitter juices, which are drawn out by the salting process. This is sometimes referred to as disgorging. Many year-round eggplant sold are young vegetables and these probably won't be bitter, but the disgorging process does improve the texture of the cooked eggplant. However, it can leave the flesh rather salty, so rinsing is always advisable.

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03:12:22 on 11/09/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -