How to choose, store and use eggplant
August 6, 2012 9 Comments
How to choose a good eggplant
An eggplant with
- a green stalk
- a shiny and smooth skin
- a firm consistency
- no black spots and liquefaction
An eggplant with
- a withered or grayish stalk,
- a wrinkled or dull skin
- a soft or spongy consistency
- bumps or rot signs
- a brown skin
The flesh would be bitter, stringy, and full of seeds.
How to store and freeze eggplant
Eggplant must be eaten quickly. Store a few days in the vegetable compartment of the fridge.
If you want to freeze the eggplant, clean it, peel it (or not if you like the skin) and cut it in 0.5 inch thick slices. Blanch 4 minutes in water with some lemon juice. Let cool, drain and put in freezer friendly bags, with wax paper between each slices.
It will last 8 to 10 months in your freezer. When you’re ready to eat some, don’t defrost before cooking.
Ratatouille and other eggplant based casserole are freezer friendly too.
How to prepare eggplant
A few tips before starting
Eggplants must be peeled at the very last minute because the flesh gets dark quickly (it’s due to the oxidation). To prevent that, splash with lemon juice.
If you’re using large eggplants, you can leave eggplants to sweat with salt in a colander for about 30 minutes. It will prevent them from being bitter.
Clean eggplant, remove stalk and bottom. If you wish, you can peel the skin. The eggplant skin is full of antioxidants but the ripper the bitter.
You can cut eggplant in different sizes and shapes :
- Slice eggplant if you want to sauté, bake, or deep fry it
- Slice it, then cut into sticks and finally into cubs if you want to make a ratatouille or other casserole
- Cut in half lengthwise then scoop out the center it if you want to make stuffed eggplant.
The most famous eggplant based recipes are the French ratatouille, the Greek Moussaka, and the Italian Parmiggiana.
Want to know anything else? Ask me in the comments below.