I, for one, have never been a fan of eggplant. However, I have recently discovered that it isn't half bad if chopped into tiny pieces (so it's well hidden in dishes) or fried. Also, there are several tips to selecting and preparing eggplant that help reduce the bitterness of this vitamin packed veggie.
(It is apparently high in cancer-fighting polyphenols - which are also found in apples)
(Some of the tips came from a recent MSNBC article)

Tip 1: Buy young! Size is not always a good indicator of age. If your thumb leaves an indent that doesn't bounce back the eggplant is too old and will be spongy, tough, and yucky!

Tip 2: Go oval! There is a "belly button" at the blossom end of eggplants. It will either be an oval or a round dimple. Only buy the ovals - the round ones have a tendency to have more seeds and less meat.

Tip 3: Salt! Slice your eggplant and lay each piece out (single layer). We usually lay it on baking cooling racks with a layer of paper towels under them to catch the bitter juice, but I suppose you could lay them out directly on the paper towel if you don't have cooling racks. Salt each piece (I think we use our sea salt grinder) and let them sweat for a half an hour. Then, rinse each piece (we sort of rub the salt off), blot dry, and proceed with your recipe.

Three simple steps that will help you fully enjoy this little veggie! Happy Cooking :-)

(Sorry no pictures...if I find good examples of these, I'll add some at a later date)

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