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best way to cook eggplant

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I'm looking to make some kind of grilled or roasted slices of eggplant either on the stove or in the oven. I never seem to do this very well, but I love eggplant when other people cook it. What's a good way to do this? Thanks.

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  1. The trick to getting a dense, satisfying texture to your grilled/roasted eggplant, without using tons of oil, is to salt/rinse/drain beforehand. Just liberally salt your slices of raw eggplant (peeled or unpeeled, whatever your preference), layer them in a colander and let them sit about an hour, then rinse, squeeze, and pat dry with towels. Some authorities say that the salting also removes a bitter taste, but I just do it because the eggplant absorbs less oil and has a better texture this way.

    Madhur Jaffrey has a lot of delicious eggplant recipes in her cookbooks. If you enjoy Indian food, I suggest trying some of her recipes. Once when she was on Julia Child's cooking show on PBS, she made a sweet and sour version with cumin, mint, lemon juice, sugar, and some other ingredients . . . I've made it a couple times and it's out of this world.

    1 Reply
    1. re: operagirl

      I agree with this tip. I personally don't mind the slight bitterness of eggplant, but I have friends who salt their eggplant and wait as long as overnight to get all that bitterness out. That could easily be the little thing you've been missing.

    2. I like to slice eggplant then fry/grill them, then layer them in a 9x13x2 baking dish. then
      grill onions,bell peppers, tomatoes, meatballs or sausage, layer that then another layer
      of grilled eggplant. then cover with your favorite cheese. and you can add cheese before
      the second layer of eggplant. then in the oven it goes until nice and bubbly and hot.

      1. I love to do it on the charcoal grill. Slice the eggplant about 3/4 inch thick. If I have time I salt/rinse. Brush it with olive oil & sprinkle with salt/pepper (easy on the salt if you've salted/drained). Grill for a couple minutes on each side. I also love adding some goat cheese and letting it melt in the grill with the top on for a few minutes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nojunk

          Yeah, grilling. I like to do Japanese eggplants -- split them in half but leave them connected at the stem end, then press on the stem end with the palm of your hand to separate the two halves. Brush with a little olive oil and put 'em on for about 10 minutes....so creamy!

          Cooking Japanese eggplants gives you a higher ratio of skin to flesh, if that's what you're after. Someone down below on this string said you can avoid the charred aftertaste by steaming eggplant, but to me the somewhat charred, bitter taste of the eggplant skin sets off the creamy flesh just fine.

        2. I like to slice and season (often times as the other poster suggests, eliminating the water via the salt method), then nuke in the microwave to par cook it, and finish in the toaster, broiler or grill to crisp the edges.

          1. Recently, I've been loving grilled or broiled eggplant covered in a light glaze of yello miso, rice vinegar, a touch of sugar and salt. It has a subtle sweetness and tastes.... for lack of a better word, delicate.

            I also love whole roasted eggplant (just prick it and toss it in the oven) until it starts to collapse. Then make a T shaped incision in it and sprinkle some salt, grated pecorino, and drizzle a little good olive oil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: danikm

              Not sure if you got my last response. How long and what temp do you cook the whole eggplant?