February 1st, 2011
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!