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Growing up in an Italian household, I learned early on how to prepare eggplant for traditional parmigiana. I'd watch my grandmother peel off thick, purple lengths of skin, and then cut the eggplant into uniform rounds. She'd place the slices in a circular pattern in her colander and shake handfuls of salt over each piece. This was done to make sure the bitter juices seep out of the vegetable; sure enough, after 15 minutes or so, small puddles of brown liquid would begin to pool underneath the colander. It was only then that the eggplant was ready for use. Easy enough, right?
If you don't have a Sicilian grandma to show you the ropes, Whole Foods Market Cooking breaks down how to choose and prepare the gorgeous purple orbs while they are still in peak season.
Kitchen Basics: Eggplant from Whole Foods Market Cooking