Eggplants (also known as aubergines) are popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, and are part of the nightshade family. Other nightshades include potatoes, tomatoes, and capsicum/peppers.
Eggplants are a source of a large range of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, B6, and C; iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese. Eggplants are also an excellent source of fibre, and their glossy purple skin are high in antioxidants.
Eggplants don’t really need salting, especially when they’re picked young. When you cut open an eggplant and the seeds are white, it’s young and not as bitter as eggplants with brown seeds inside them.
If you find brown seeds inside and the flesh is still white, it’s still edible but will likely be more bitter. If this is the case, the best way to prepare eggplants is to slice them and sprinkle salt over them (I like to place them in layers in a colander which is placed inside a large bowl with sprinkled salt in between the eggplant layers) and leave for approximately 20-30 minutes, before rinsing thoroughly and patting dry. Salting eggplants this way removes some of the bitterness.
Unless you have a sensitivity to nightshades, it’s well-worth including eggplants in your diet.
So tell me, what would you make with eggplants? I’d love to know, so comment below.