Technically speaking, eggplant is a fruit -- one of the nightshade vegetables -- and is related to tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. One cup of cooked eggplant has just 28 calories. What it lacks in calories, it makes up for in nutrients such as potassium, manganese, copper, B vitamins, folate, magnesium and antioxidants that protect against cancer.
The skin of an eggplant can be eaten and is full of many of those nutrients listed above. If you choose to peel it, do so right before you are ready to begin cooking. You can't prep eggplant hours in advance because the flesh discolors quickly when left untreated. Along the same lines, carbon-steel knives cause the flesh to turn black at the point of contact, so use a stainless-steel knife.
Remove the infamous bitter taste by reducing some of the water content, called sweating. Cut the eggplant into thick slices, salt them, and then leave the slices on a paper towel for approximately 30 minutes to sweat. When they're done, rinse the salt off before cooking them.
Eggplant can be cooked in a variety of ways and recipes. It's a favorite choice for quiche recipes and stews, as well as casseroles, quiches, roasted vegetable medleys and more. Eggplant also is a cross-cultural ingredient, included in many recipes from Asian to Mediterranean. Try one of these four eggplant recipes for brunch, lunch or dinner:
Roasted Eggplant Quiche is a unique and yummy brunch menu item. Click here for an all-time favorite recipe.
Try this Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Pizza recipe for a twist on a classic Italian favorite.
Cheese-Filled Eggplant Rolls make a wonderful appetizer, or serve them with a wilted spinach and bacon salad as a meal. Check out the recipe here.
Create a quick and Easy Eggplant Casserole for dinner when you have little time to put together a well-balanced meal. Click here for an easily adaptable recipe, and customize with the ingredients your family loves.
You don't need to fry eggplant to make a delicious eggplant Parmesan. Here's how to lighten up the classic Italian dish by roasting the eggplant first.
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