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How to Microwave & Bake Eggplant

by
author image Meg Campbell
Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How to Microwave & Bake Eggplant
Eggplants are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Eggplants belong to the nightshade plant family, which includes tomatoes and potatoes. Eggplants are high in dietary fiber, containing 2.5 g per 3 1/2-oz. serving. They’re also rich in potassium and vitamins B1 and B6, and are good sources of folic acid, niacin, magnesium and phosphorous. The large, pear-shaped purple variety is the most common variety found in American grocery stores, eggplants come in numerous shapes and sizes, ranging from long and zucchini-like to small and round like a tomato. Colors range from white to green, orange, lavender and deep purple. Microwaving and baking are two quick methods of eggplant preparation.

Microwaving Large Eggplants

Step 1

Pierce the skin of the eggplant with the tip of a knife in several places so it won’t explode while cooking.

Step 2

Set the vegetable on a double layer of paper towels placed directly on the microwave’s bottom or carousel.

Step 3

Cook the eggplant, uncovered, on high or at 100 percent until it deflates. An 8-oz. eggplant requires approximately eight minutes of cooking time, while a 1-lb. eggplant cooks in 11 to 12 minutes. Add three to four minutes of cooking time per additional 8 ounces when cooking up to 2 1/2 lbs. of eggplants at one time in the microwave.

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Step 4

Let the eggplant cool for about five minutes, then cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

Microwaving Small Eggplants

Step 1

Prick the skin of smaller eggplant varieties, such as Chinese eggplants, in several places with a fork to prevent them from exploding while cooking.

Step 2

Set the eggplants in a microwave-safe dish just large enough to hold them and cover the dish tightly with microwave-safe plastic wrap.

Step 3

Cook the eggplants on high, or at 100 percent, until they deflate. Depending on the power of your microwave, 8 ounces of small eggplants in a covered dish cook in 10 to 12 minutes, while a pound of small eggplants cooks in 15 to 16 minutes.

Step 4

Set the dish on a heat-proof surface. Remove the plastic wrap, lifting it toward you from the opposite side so that the steam vents away from you. Let the eggplants cool for about five minutes, then cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

Baking Large, Whole Eggplants

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position one of the racks in the center of the oven.

Step 2

Place up to two 1- to 1 1/2-lb. eggplants on an ungreased baking sheet.

Step 3

Set the sheet in the middle of the centered oven rack. Bake the eggplant for 75 to 90 minutes, or until it pops and deflates like a pricked balloon. Its skin will char slightly and its center will become tender when it's fully cooked.

Step 4

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a heat-proof surface. Using two forks, immediately tear the eggplant open, separate the flesh from the skin and set the flesh on the hot baking sheet. It will sizzle and brown slightly as some of its juice evaporates.

Step 5

Separate the seeds from the flesh and discard them with the skin. Place the flesh in a bowl and shred it with a fork, or use a food processor to puree it.

Baking Eggplant Slices

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position one of the racks in the center of the oven.

Step 2

Grease the bottom and sides of an oven-safe pan in a thin, even layer of olive or vegetable oil.

Step 3

Cut off and discard the eggplant’s stem and bottom end. Slice it crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Place the slices in the smallest oven-safe pan that will hold them in a single layer. Brush the top of each slice with some of the oil.

Step 4

Set the pan on the middle of the centered oven rack. Bake, or roast, the slices for 10 minutes, then turn them over and finish baking them for another 10 minutes.

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References

  • “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods”; Michael Murray, N.D., et al.; 2005
  • “Vegetable Love”; Barbara Kafka; 2005
  • “The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook”; Andrea Chesman; 2005
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