You asked on Facebook and I’m answering!  Every week I’m going to feature another vegetable or fruit that you are having challenges with.  I’m hoping to debunk some of these foods and make you want to give them a try!  This week it’s all about one of my favorite veggies to eat: Eggplant!  Make sure to Facebook me any foods you’d like to see featured in this series 🙂

Eggplant is one of the most used and diverse vegetables out there!  Originally a native to India, eggplant is now used all over the world.

eggplant_plant Being Italian vegan, I love eggplant!  It makes a great meat substitute in recipes!  I’m going to teach you how to prep an eggplant and one of my favorite ways to cook it!  First off, you need to prep the eggplant:

Step 1: Wash the eggplant and cut off the ends.

How to cook Eggplant

Step 2: Slice or dice the eggplant in accordance to the recipe you are making.

How to prep an Eggplant

Step 3: Place the eggplant in a strainer and sprinkle with salt.  This draws all the bitterness out of the eggplant.  You’ll want to let it sit there for about 30 minutes.  Pat them dry and then they are ready to cook!

Once you’ve got your eggplant prepped you can cook it a variety of ways.  You can grill it, saute it, or roast it.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes using eggplant: My Aunt Rose’s Caponata, My Eggplant Burger, Pizza topped with Eggplant and Tomatoes, and Grilled Eggplant Wrapped Quinoa.

FUN FACT #1: Who needs the patch?? Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01 mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking. On average, 20lbs (9 kg) of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.

FUN FACT #2: Eggplant is closely related to the tomato and the potato!