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Ingredient of the week: Eggplant

Picking out eggplant can be intimidating when there are so many varieties. But learning the many ways to cook this fall gem will give you an endless supply of healthy vegetarian dishes to try. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

Many people are afraid of eggplant because they don’t know how to cook it, but if this week the Seattle Kitchen Show, you all the tools you’ll need to make the best fall eggplant recipes.

Show host Tom Douglas loves that all the different eggplant varieties are easy to grow in Washington.

“You’ll find the Japanese little babies, the Chinese eggplants, the big globes, the little Thai eggplants that they make lots of chutneys out of,” says Tom.

Katie O doesn’t see a major difference in flavor between eggplants, but she loves the visual effect of mixing the sizes and colors.

One of the easiest ways to cook eggplant is to coat eggplants in oil, herbs, and spices, and roast it in a really hot oven or on a hot grill. It can be as easy as just letting it cook plain if you like the flavor, or spicing it up for a topping.

“People make the mistake of pulling it too soon,” says Tom.

Even if the outside skin of eggplant seems to be charring, the eggplant’s meat won’t be harmed – it will take on the smoky flavor of the grill that is perfect to add to a baba ghanoush or a soup.

Find more Seattle Kitchen here and listen to Theirry Rautureau and Tom Douglas Saturdays at 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. on KIRO Radio.

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