Many common eggplant recipes -- eggplant parmesan, grilled eggplant slices -- do not require removing the skins. However, it's best to peel off the skin if it is thick or tough to improve the taste and texture of your recipe. When left intact, thick skin can increase the cooking time, resulting in overcooked eggplant flesh, the University of Illinois Extension advises. If you don't want to waste time peeling, look for thinned-skin eggplants at the market.
Wash the eggplant in the kitchen sink and pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Lay the eggplant flat on a cutting board.
Cut off the cap and stem with a sharp knife and set them aside or dispose of them.
Pick up the eggplant in one hand and a vegetable peeler in the other.
Peel off long strips of the skin with the peeler. Do this over a kitchen sink if you have a disposal or over a large bowl to help make the clean-up easier.
Rotate the eggplant in your hand and peel off the skin at both ends.
Always keep the skin on the eggplant when grilling it because this helps keep the flesh intact, Fine Cooking advises.
Eggplant starts to discolor soon after it is cut, so do not cut it until you are ready to use it. Also, use stainless steel knives on eggplant to prevent discoloration from other types of blades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises.
Salting eggplant can help improve its flavor because the salt will draw out excess water and bitter juices and season the flesh. To salt it, sprinkle slices or other cut eggplant pieces and let it sit in a colander for about an hour. Rinse the eggplant and them pat it dry before continuing with your recipe.