How to choose, slice and cook eggplant

We have all the intel on this colourful, antioxidant-rich vegetable.

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Eggplants
Eggplants. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

They’re colourful, elegant and come in many shapes and sizes, but in terms of taste, eggplants are all very similar. Textures vary: Jewel-toned Japanese eggplants (bottom left) are creamy and silky when cooked, while large, deep-purple Italian eggplants (bottom right) are meaty and perfect for vegetarian steaks.

To salt, or not to salt
You may have heard that eggplant needs to be salted and rinsed before cooking to temper its bitterness. Not true. Although salting does remove some excess moisture (which is great if you’re about to deep-fry it), the bitter taste is a myth.

Cooking tips
Regular Italian eggplant generally needs to be cooked with a decent amount of oil in order to get tender and creamy. So if you’re making this fabulous involtini, be sure not to skimp on the olive oil when roasting the eggplant slices, and sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper.

Japanese eggplant is naturally more creamy and luscious, and take well to stir-frys and curries. Once you try them, you’ll be hooked!

Get our tips on how to slice eggplant below:

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