Recipes for Health - The Misunderstood Eggplant - NYTimes.com

I just learned something new and wanted to share just in case others don't know it. Did you know you can leave the eggplants skin on? I've done it in the crockpot before, but that tough skin had ours to soften. I just roasted it and the skin was great! And look before for the good antioxidants it has!

Published: September 1, 2008

My favorite line about eggplant is from “How to Pick a Peach,” an appreciation of seasonal produce by Russ Parsons. “Let’s get one thing straight: most eggplants are not bitter (even though they have every right to be after everything that has been said about them).”

People do have strong feelings about eggplant. If they don’t like it, they usually cite its bitterness or heaviness. Salting does improve eggplant’s texture if it’s to be fried, Parsons notes, but that’s the only reason to purge it.

The problem with frying is that eggplant will soak up every ounce of fat in the skillet, which is why so many eggplant dishes are heavy. But there’s an alternative. I get around frying eggplant, even in dishes where eggplant is sautéed, by roasting it first. Then I cut it into pieces and cook it again with the other ingredients in the dish. Roasted eggplant has a deep, complex flavor. As long as you don’t need firm slices, roasting is a great way to avoid making it heavy.

Eggplant is also terrific grilled, and you’ll be amazed by how silky and delicious it can be when steamed and tossed with a dressing.

Some people object to eggplant’s skin. That’s too bad, because the skin of purple eggplants contains its most valuable nutrient, a powerful antioxidant called nasunin, one of a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins present in many fruits and vegetables with red, blue and purple hues (berries, beets and red cabbage, to name a few). Choose the purple varieties when you shop, and leave the skin on.

via Recipes for Health - The Misunderstood Eggplant - NYTimes.com.