The larger or older an eggplant, the more bitter it may taste due to the liquids inside. To mask the bitterness, try salting the eggplant before cooking. Salting also pulls some of the moisture from an eggplant, which will prevent it from becoming soggy during the cooking process. Ordinarily, small, fresh eggplants do not need to be salted before cooking.
Cut the eggplant according to the recipe, whether it be sliced, cubed, halved, or quartered. Arrange in a single layer on paper towels. Liberally sprinkle salt over the eggplant and let it rest for 25 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, you can finish prepping the remaining ingredients. After 25 minutes, you will see liquid skimming the cut surfaces of the eggplant.
Transfer the eggplant to a colander and rinse. Firmly press a paper towel against the eggplant to release extra liquid. Follow the recipe as directed.
Photography by Felicia Perrett
Originally published in Organic Gardening Magazine, August/September 2014