I have discovered lately that if you have very skinny Italian or Chinese eggplants, they cook faster and to an equally flavorful conclusion in a skillet. Prepare the eggplants as described in steps 2 and 5, and place them skin side down in a pan with just enough oil to coat the bottom. Cover the pan and cook at medium high heat for about 6 minutes. Turn the eggplants over and cook, always keeping the pan covered for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them over and cook until tender, about 2 more minutes, depending on the eggplants.
When cold, the eggplant flesh, scooped out and mixed with onion chopped very fine, makes a delicious spread on a grilled or toasted slice of good, crusty bread. Top with a few drops of raw extra virgin Italian olive oil.
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