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Whether mashed in a baba ganoush dip or layered in casseroles, eggplant takes center stage in many popular Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.

However, eggplant is generally overlooked by the western world, perhaps because many people don’t know how to prepare this intimidating-looking vegetable. Some people avoid eggplant because they think the vegetable is bitter, but there is a tried-and-true method to cooking eggplant successfully. This success begins in the grocery store or farmers’ market.

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