Removing the Bitterness from Eggplant

A note about eggplant:

I know there are different notions about whether or not to press or salt eggplant to remove any bitterness. My recommendation is to always press or salt your eggplant unless you are using a very mild or baby variety, and there are several  such as the beautiful Rosa Bianca pictured here. This eggplant, an heirloom variety very common in Italy, is sweet, tender, creamy tasting and would not need pressing or salting.



 Slice  eggplant and layer it with paper towels in a baking dish or casserole topped with a plate. Then put an iron or heavy cans of tomatoes on top to weight it down pressing for about 2-3 hours is enough, all of the bitter juices will have transferred to the paper towels leaving sweet eggplant slices.

This method works especially well before frying



 Set a colander or wire rack over a sink, bowl, or rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle salt generously over all sides of the eggplant and add to colander. Let sit for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse lightly under cold water, place on paper towels, and pat dry. Putting salt on the eggplant triggers osmosis, which draws out excess moisture and the bitterness along with it.

Sliced eggplant in a colander set in a clear bowl full of eggplant juice.