Why it Works: Eggplant Fact and Fiction
Eggplant has spent much of its history being shunned by one part of the world and celebrated by another. This unfair treatment has to do with family history: Eggplant is related to the deadly nightshade. Of course eggplants are not poisonous, but many people are afraid to eat or cook them. Never cooked eggplant? It is important to understand its structure. An eggplant is—for lack of a better term—a sponge. Looking closely at a cut piece, you see thousands of tiny holes. These holes absorb an amazing amount of oil, causing fried eggplant to become heavy and greasy. To help prevent this, cut the eggplant into pieces and then salt it. The salt draws out any bitter juices and collapses some of the holes. Fry salted eggplant quickly over high heat to seal the outside. Because the eggplant isn't fried in this recipe, there is no need to salt it first.