Cooking eggplant can be a bit tricky because it has a spongy consistency and absorbs a lot of liquid, which yields mushy and not-so-delicious results. But just because it’s tricky, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try cooking it. Here are a few tips on how to love eggplant more.
Eggplant can be really tasty and have an amazing texture on your plant if you learn how to cook it. One cup of cubed and cooked eggplant only has 35 calories, but it’s rich in fiber, minerals like copper, manganese, and potassium, but also B1, B3, B6, and K vitamins. There are phytonutrients in it with an antioxidant activity which help protect brain cell membranes. According to some research, it might also help lower the risk of heart disease, because those antioxidants keep your bad cholesterol levels low.
Now, that was the why you should love eggplant more. Now, let’s find out more about the ‘how’ of it. I was not a huge fan of cooked veggies for a long time, because I wasn’t really that good at cooking them.
And of course, they turned out mushy, tasteless and lifeless. But how can you not love eggplant more when it turns out creamy and earthy and so filling? So let’s see how we can get the best roasted and grilled eggplant dishes! And if you want some extra reading, here are the eggplant cooking mistakes you might be making!
4 tips and tricks for how to love eggplant more
1. Add salt in the beginning
You can remove the skin or not, that’s always up for debate in the cooking world. For me, you should remove the skin only if it’s a bit older and its wonderful purple ‘coat’ is probably tougher to chew on. What I am sure of is that you should salt the eggplant when you cook with it. So, slice it, coat it with salt, and let it sit like this for 15-20 minutes. Some liquid will come out of it, which is good for the next part of cooking.
The salt will help remove some of the bitterness. But don’t forget to wash the slices and then pat them dry before cooking.
2. Fry it!
You might treat the lovely flesh of the eggplant like any other type of meat you fry. Have you thought about doing a beer batter on your fried eggplant slices? How about adding some corn flakes to the breadcrumbs? Or replace the all-purpose flour with any of the other flours out there? Experimenting with this, especially since you know your own tastes, is key. You might turn up with some crazy, mouthwatering, eggplant dishes.
3. Roast it slowly
You don’t have to slice eggplant or do a lot of prep work to enjoy it. You can just halve it or even roast it whole and have the result be incredible. Don’t expose it to too much heat. Instead, just preheat the oven and roast it at a medium temperature. Other tips for you to love eggplant more? Poke it with a fork all over its skin before you cook it. And you can also cover it in foil, you keep all of the flavors sealed in.
4. Use the flesh
When you roast an eggplant, there is something you must absolutely try: make a simple spread with the flesh of the vegetable. Peel off the skin, which should come off easily on a cooked eggplant. Then add the cooked flesh to a bowl and use the mixer on it, to make it creamy. Add some olive oil, some salt, and some chopped onions, and you have a simple, delicious treat.
You can go one step forward and add some tahini to the cooked flesh of the vegetable and you get the delicious classic spread baba ghanoush.