2poundseggplantsliced or cubed, peeled if desired (about 12 cups)
1tablespoonsaltkosher or table salt
Toss the eggplant with salt and let it drain in a colander for about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Spread drained eggplant over paper towels. Wipe away as much salt as possible and press firmly on each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
Buying: Look for an eggplant that has firm skin and has a substantial heft in your hand. Heavier fruit is a sign that the eggplant is fresh and hydrated. Avoid eggplant with any soft spots, discoloration, or wrinkling.
Storing: Store unwashed, uncut eggplant at room temperature for up to 2 days (keep it away from other fruits and vegetables). For longer storage, wrap in a paper towel, place in a container, and store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Peeling: If the recipe calls for it, or if you want to, peel the eggplant before cutting.
Salting: Salting removes excess liquid and some of the bitterness. Today’s eggplants are bred for mildness, though, so it’s not as important as it used to be (if you are frying eggplant, salting will ensure a creamy texture and rich flavor). This method works for eggplant slices, cubes, or planks.
Yield: 1 pound eggplant = 6 cups cubed, raw (3 cups cooked). Serving size is about 2 cups raw, 1 cup cooked.