Actually a fruit, eggplant is typically prepared as a vegetable. Eggplants are part of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes and potatoes. They may be skinny or pear shaped, and come in a mix of dark purple, light purple, striped, and white colors.
How to Prep
If the eggplant is really big and the seeds are noticeable, cut into thick slices or chunks, place in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and rinse with cold water. This process will draw out any bitter juices.
ROAST: Preheat the oven to 400°F. After cutting the eggplant lengthwise or into circles, drizzle eggplant with olive oil and roast for 10-20 minutes, flip and cook for another 10-20 minutes.
SAUTÉ: Cut the eggplant into chunks or rounds, toss with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan on medium heat, add eggplant once oil starts to shimmer, and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Eggplants should be cooked as soon as possible, or they will quickly become bitter and start to discolor. Store whole eggplants in a cool dry place and use within 1-2 days. To store longer, place in the refrigerator.