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How Do I Bake Eggplant?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2017
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Eggplant is a vegetable that is enjoyed by many people and is frequently used in dishes from the Mediterranean region. You might be apprehensive about baking eggplant because of the steps involved in the process, but after you know why the steps are necessary and how to properly execute them, you might find that it is not very difficult to bake eggplant. Prepare the eggplant properly by salting it to remove moisture, piercing the skin with a fork, baking it until it becomes soft and brown and removing the skin. You might also decide to roast the eggplant whole, which simply involves piercing the skin in a few places and roasting it until it is tender.

There are a few common ways to bake eggplant, including in slices, whole or filled. Many recipes call for further manipulation of the eggplant after it has been baked, so you often will cut the eggplant in slices to bake it. Baking the eggplant whole is perhaps the easiest way, because you just pierce the skin and bake it for about an hour. Filled eggplant is prepared in the same way as slices, except that the eggplant is cut in half, most of the flesh is scooped out, and then it is filled with other ingredients.

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Proper preparation is an essential step to bake eggplant. Eggplant has a spongy flesh that absorbs any liquids with which it might come into contact, meaning that oil and water can be absorbed when you bake it. To prevent this from happening when you bake eggplant, sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices or halves and sit them in a colander for one hour. This draws some of the moisture and bitter flavor out of the eggplant, seasons it and helps shrink the air pockets that allow for liquid absorption. After the eggplant has been allowed to drain, you should squeeze small portions at a time to remove some of the remaining liquid.

After the eggplant has been prepared, you should pierce the skin with a fork to prevent bursting and encourage even baking. Lightly grease a pan and place the eggplant slices on the pan. Bake eggplant at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 176 degrees Celsius) for about one hour or until the flesh is brown and the eggplant feels soft when poked with a fork. Some people eat the eggplant at this point, but if the baked eggplant is supposed to be used in a different form for a recipe, further steps are needed.

When the eggplant has cooled to the touch, peel the skin from the slices and chop, blend or prepare it in some other way for your recipe. If you baked filled halves, it is not necessary to peel the skin. The eggplant acts as a serving dish, and the remaining flesh can be scooped out to be eaten.

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Wisedly33
Post 2

My favorite way to use baked/roasted eggplant is to bread it, bake it and then use it in eggplant Parmesan. Since it's not fried, it cuts down a little on the fat content, plus, I think roasting the eggplant brings out much more flavor.

I also love moussaka, but I haven't figured out how to cook that yet. I know it's baked and uses eggplant, but it's still kind of mysterious to me. I will say I think eggplant works much better with a marinara or alfredo sauce than it does naked, roasted or not. Eggplant just has a little weirdness about it that is ameliorated by a little sauce.

Scrbblchick
Post 1

If I have a big, seedy eggplant, I'll scrape some of the seeds out before I salt it and leave it to drain. Sometimes those seeds make eating eggplant a little unpleasant.

I also make sure my slices aren't more than about half an inch thick. Otherwise, they won't cook all the way through. I roast eggplant the same way I roast nearly all other vegetables. After leaving it to drain, I place the slices on a cookie sheet, season with black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and then roast them at 350 F for about 20 minutes, turning the slices at 10 minutes.

Baked eggplant is good as a side dish, or as the first preparation step for other dishes, like ratatouille or baba ganoush.

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