Buy, Store & Prepare
Buying and Storing
Look for a plump, heavy unwrinkled vegetable that feels quite firm to the touch. It's harvested ripe and best eaten soon after purchase.
It can be stored for a few days, unwrapped, in a refrigerator vegetable crisper at 45°F to 50°F.
Preparing and Cooking
Handle gently to avoid bruising and cut just before use to prevent discoloration. (Use a stainless steel knife; carbon knives can cause a bitter aftertaste).
Some cooks recommend lightly salting cut up eggplant and letting it stand for 15 minutes before rinsing, drying and cooking to reduce characteristic bitterness.
Traditional Mediterranean dishes include eggplant parmigiana, ratatouille, moussaka, eggplant stuffed with rice, or hot and sour Spanish eggplant. The vegetable may be broiled, pan-fried or baked along with olive oil, tomatoes, peppers and fresh herbs and spices.
Indian cooks make it into a curry or use it in fritters. Chinese cooks add it to stir-fries.