February 1st, 2011

{kitchen aids} Is Salting Eggplant Necessary?

Eggplant

It’s been said that salting eggplant — slathering slices in salt and allowing them to rest for at least an hour — sweats out their bitter taste. I’ve got to admit that I’ve been a believer in this method, but don’t always do it because of the extra time it takes. It’s not particularly convenient for us family cooks on a regular night, is it? Well, I’m happy to report good news. According to the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Saveur, salting is NOT necessary!

The Saveur folks refer to Nicholas Clee, author of Don’t Sweat the Aubergine, who claims that salting doesn’t eliminate bitterness, but masks it. He also points out that today’s eggplants are not nearly as bitter as varieties from decades ago. Cooked side by side, Clee found that salted and non-salted eggplant tasted just the same.

So, you’re with me on the bitterness, right? But what about salted eggplant soaking up less oil? Ever heard that one?

The Saveur folks put that to the test, as well, and found that, yet again, salting made no difference.

So, there you have it: no salting neccessary. All hail a shortcut that’s actually better technique, too!

iStockPhoto/awottawa

3 Responses

  1. It’s so funny that you wrote about this. I have found that I only like eggplant when it’s cooked PERFECTLY, so when cooking for us I completely avoided it. But last week I decided to take it on, and the recipe called for salting and I was all, what? why? I considered not doing it, but like I said, it needs to be PERFECT. So glad to know I could have skipped it.

  2. Beth says:

    I’m so glad your post popped up on my eggplant search as I’m about to receive my CSA share tomorrow chocked full of eggplant. It’s a relief to know salting is unnecessary. I really enjoy your site!

  3. One Hungry Mama says:

    So glad that you found me, Beth. And, more importantly, so glad that I was able to provide some kitchen relief! – Stacie, xo

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