Do I need to salt eggplant before cooking it?
Sprinkling salt over eggplant slices before cooking them draws out the vegetable's moisture. It's a process known as "degorging".
Larger, older eggplants have brown seeds that contain a bitter liquid. Salting eggplants removes some of this liquid and improves their flavor. In general, it's not necessary to salt smaller eggplants since they have fewer seeds than larger eggplants.
Larger eggplants also tend to become soft and "melty" when cooked, so salting them before cooking leads to firmer, more leathery cooked texture. (Leathery in a good way, we think.)
To salt an eggplant, slice it and generously season the slices with kosher salt. Let them sit until you can see the liquid coming to the surface, 20-30 minutes. Rinse the slices well and pat them dry. It's also a good idea to use half as much salt as the recipe calls for (unless the recipe takes into account the fact that the eggplant has been salted).