Eggplants come in many shape and sizes but the different varieties are interchangable in recipes. Nutritionally, eggplants offer small amounts of vitamins and minerals but plenty of fiber. They are low in calories.

Before cooking eggplant you can peel it, although it is not necessary. Many recipes suggest "sweating" the eggplant before cooking. This will reduce any acrid flavors and excess moisture and when done the eggplant will also soak up less oil and need less salt in preparation. To "sweat", lightly salt slices of eggplant and allow to sit in a colander for 10-15 minutes. Rinse or gently squeeze off any liquid.

Eggplant is best when fresh. It can be stored either unrefrigerated at a cool room temperature, or in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator for up to one week. For longer term storage, you can freeze eggplant in the form of baba ghanouj, ratatouille, or similar type dishes.

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