Buy: Named for the eggshaped varieties that first landed in Europe, eggplant comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You’re probably familiar with gourd-shaped Italian or thin Japanese eggplants, but keep your eyes peeled for the dainty Fairy Tale eggplant or even the teeny-tiny Thai pea eggplant. No matter the variety, look for taut, glossy skin and a bright-green cap. An eggplant should also feel heavy for its size.
Store: Wrap an eggplant in a paper towel and stick it in a plastic bag. Store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Prep: To salt or not to salt? Some believe it reduces bitterness. That’s more myth than reality, since most commercially grown eggplant is less bitter than it used to be. We like to salt slices of eggplant to draw out moisture and retain some bite, whether you’re serving the versatile veggie steamed, sautéed, stuffed, or pureed.