I feel that eggplant is very under-utilized in the kitchen and I have grown to like it more and more every time I cook with it. I grew up not caring for it, which is why I venture into cooking items like this. Young (early spring) eggplants are not normally bitter but when you get into the fall season the bitterness increases. The bitterness comes from phenol’s which are found in numerous different types of plants and is a defense against herbivorous. There are two ways of removing this flavor; the first is by slicing the eggplant, salting the flesh, and letting it sit for an hour or so in a colander. After it has set, you will see little droplets of water that were pulled from the eggplant, just pat it dry with a towel before using it. The second approach, which I use most often, is to make a “brine” with salt and water. For eggplant you want the brine to be salted enough so you can taste it in the water.
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