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What’s Fresh: The best way to cook eggplant

By Hilary Meyer, September 8, 2010 - 11:00am

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Eggplant is just one of those things: you either love it or hate it. I’m a reformed hater. I’ve found the key to enjoying this vegetable (which is actually a fruit—a berry, to be exact) is cooking it correctly. So what’s the best way to cook an eggplant? In my personal opinion, I think it’s best cooked on the grill.

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In the EatingWell Test Kitchen, we like to slice an eggplant into rounds, brush oil over the slices and sprinkle them with salt before they hit the heat. The salt helps draw out some of the moisture and the oil prevents the slices from sticking to the grate and gives the eggplant a nice soft texture. The result is a tender, subtly smoky slice of eggplant that can be used in salads and side dishes, as a topping for pizza or a filling for sandwiches.

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And here’s another hot tip: Leave the skin on. Scientists believe that anthocyanins, compounds that are responsible for the purple color in the eggplant skin, contain anti-inflammatory properties that may be protective against heart disease and some cancers. So to eggplant haters, I say give eggplant another go. You just may learn to love it. And to the lovers (like me), I know I don’t need to sell you the merits of this delicious vegetable/fruit/berry. Check out this recipe for some new inspiration for the incredible edible eggplant.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stacks

What do you think is the best way to cook eggplant? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Healthy Cooking Blog, What's in season

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: What do you think is the best way to cook eggplant?

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