Dolores e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that many of the meatless main dishes she likes to make for Lent include eggplant and wondered if there was some way to make sure the eggplant won’t be bitter.
Eggplants become bitter if they are very mature and full of seeds when harvested or when they have been stored too long either in the supermarket or your own refrigerator. To increase your chance of getting an eggplant that isn’t bitter, select medium to small eggplants that are very firm and have smooth shiny skin. Avoid those that look wrinkled, dent when you press them, or feel light for their size. And, use them shortly after purchase. While salting eggplant slices or cubes and allowing them to drain can reduce their tendency to absorb oil when they are being cooked, it doesn’t really help to get rid of the bitterness.