Don’t Like Eggplant? Here Are Three Tricks That Will Make You In Love With Eggplant
Eggplant is one of those vegetables that is hugely disliked among children and even many adults. Why is that? There are a few reasons. Back in the day, people who used to grow eggplants didn’t eat the vegetable. They used eggplants to store their ornaments instead. The eggplant was never on their dinner plates because they used to think this vegetable caused cancer, brain-related diseases, and other severe health problems.
As we all now know, there is no truth to those claims, but there is another reason many people do not eat eggplant—when cooked incorrectly, you can experience a bitter or mushy taste or the combination of both. But there’s great news! The bitter taste of eggplant has been reduced significantly due to the advancement of agricultural science. There has also been a huge increase in the variety of this vegetable.
Now, let’s take a moment to address a common misconception about eggplant. If you think eggplant is a vegetable, then let me correct you. I have mentioned eggplant as a vegetable above, but actually, eggplant is a fruit. Unlike most fruits that we eat, eggplant is not sweet or tangy, but bitter; therefore, people don’t eat it raw and must be creative when preparing eggplant recipes. If you want to have eggplant, but don’t know how to get rid of the dreaded bitter taste, then here are a few tricks to help you with that.
Salt the Eggplant
You might not believe it, but rubbing salt on eggplant can reduce bitterness. Rub salt on the eggplant 30 minutes prior to cooking. Just take a couple of pinches of salt and thoroughly rub it on the fruit. You will find drops of brownish water on the surface of the fruit, which is actually the bitter liquid seeping out. Simply blot these drops with the help of a paper towel and proceed with your recipe.
Season the Eggplant Properly
Eggplant has a spongy texture just like potatoes or tofu. The texture helps it absorb all the oils, spices and herbs that you use while cooking this fruit. To get the most from your eggplant experience, take some inspiration from the people who love eating eggplant. Add this fruit to a buffet of strong-tasting dishes. Do not be afraid to flavor your eggplant with a variety of robust seasonings!
There is a very famous variety of eggplant, the Thai Green Eggplant, which is prepared with a variety of curries that contain coconut milk. When cooked in the curry, the fruit softens and soaks up the taste of the curry to create a burst of flavor. Thai curries range from green to red to yellow and more, each providing a unique blend of spicy heat and sweetness.
You can transform small white eggplant into a popular Indian recipe known as ‘Baingan Bharta’. Indians have multiple eggplant recipes such as ‘Baingan Aloo’ in which small eggplants are cut vertically along with potatoes and then fried with a variety of spices.
There is a ‘bharva baingan’ dish in which small eggplants are cut vertically and stuffed with a filling of onions, spices, and salt. Then, the eggplant is deep friend in a pan.
In the Middle East, they use purple and white striped eggplant and roast it into baba ganoush—a very healthy dish. Baba ganoush contains less calories than hummus, and is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. As well, baba ganoush is high in vitamins C, K, and E, which help maintain the well-being of the heart, bone, and skin.
Pair Eggplant with Tomatoes
Both eggplant and tomatoes are fruits. Both belong to the same family, and they both take the same amount of time to ripen. They seem to be made for each other. In fact, many eggplant recipes include tomatoes in large quantities. When both of these fruits are cooked at the same time, the jammy flavor of the tomatoes brings down the harshness of the eggplant.
‘Parmigiana,’ a famous Italian recipe, is all about eggplant and tomatoes. If you would like to try the dish, here is a variation on the classic recipe—Deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiana Pasta. People from all over the world also enjoy Ratatouille, a French dish that includes zucchini and onions along with the eggplant and tomatoes.
Combine grilled eggplant slices with cherry tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella, to create a heavenly dish. You must try this dish at least once in your life, and I’m sure that once you try it, you will have it again and again.
So, eggplant is not that bad, is it? You might change your perspective after you try this amazing fruit. Because once you start eating it, you will definitely add it to your list of favorite food items.
Author Bio: Monica Henin, the author of this post is a food expert. She has written a countless number of recipes on different websites as guest authors and on her own website www.addonkitchen.com. She has helped thousands of readers regarding healthy food recipes, and still continues to do so.