What to do with my eggplant
October 2, 2008 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Foodfilter: Please give me your best eggplant recipes!

I've been getting 1-2 eggplants a week from my local CSA, and I'm running out of ideas for what to do with them. Please suggest ways to liven up and enjoy my eggplants! The catch is that others in my household are not so fond of eggplant, so will only eat them if they are very well disguised. For example, eggplant curry, with big chunks of eggplant, was not a success. But baba ganouj or eggplant parm, where the eggplant isn't necessarily recognizable as such, have been more successful. Also, if you've had success freezing baba ganouj, please let me know!
posted by jujube to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Baingan Bharta because you like baba ganoush and apparently curry.

Also eggplant chips following the recipe for zucchini chips.

You could serve the chips with some chili-garlic sauce.
posted by hariya at 7:33 AM on October 2, 2008

Pasta alla Norma?

The strong flavors of the peppers and the general confusion of a mess of tomatoes might disguise the eggplant reasonably well.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:35 AM on October 2, 2008

"Ashbury's Aubergines has a collection of over 3000 eggplant recipes, sorted by ingredient and cuisine. "
From the blue, last month.
posted by dawson at 7:40 AM on October 2, 2008

I feel your pain. It's like you finally get through all the frickin' zucchini and then along comes a pile of eggplant...

I made a giant eggplant lasagna last week and froze it. And I love Barefoot Contessa's roasted eggplant spread, which is great as a dip or in a wrap. Plus you can throw in other vegetables from your CSA, too.
posted by bcwinters at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2008

Pasta with Roasted Provencal Vegetables was one of the first recipes I ever undertook individually and with enthusiasm. It sings with fresh ingredients. Simple, but quite delicious. Salting the eggplant and letting it weep out some bitterness before you roast it is key.
posted by dorothy humbird at 8:00 AM on October 2, 2008

I made Ina Garten a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa's Orzo with Roasted Vegetables a while back and it was fantastic. You can add way more eggplant than just 1 too; I think I did 3. This is what I wrote about it in my recipe notebook afterwards:

Wow, does this not have everything delicious imaginable in it?! This is in the "so freaking good" category for me. I mean, feta! Toasted pignolis! Fresh basil and lots of it! Scallions! Roasted, sweet seasonal veggies! Mmmm. And it's very, very easy. According to Ina, all of the vegetables are in season at the same time, and this can easily be made in advance (you can do everything ahead up to step 8 and then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and fresh basil before serving). It probably goes without saying, but this dish is really pretty, smells awesome, and is good for entertaining because it's served room temperature. It's important to add the dressing while the pasta and vegetables are hot so they absorb the flavors.
posted by ifjuly at 8:07 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

- eggplant in garlic sauce (vegetarians can just leave out the pork, maybe give it a dash of mushroom sauce to compensate; or really just stir-frying eggplant in peanut oil with some chopped onion with loads of garlic and a basic Chinese soy/oyster-flavor/sesame oil liquid is generally quite yummy)
- ratatouille
- moussaka
posted by aught at 8:14 AM on October 2, 2008

Eggplant fries!
I get them all the time at a restaurant near my work and they have a yoghurt and herb dipping sauce which I am sure you could approximate as well.
posted by rmless at 8:14 AM on October 2, 2008

My favorite eggplant dish is the sabich sandwich. It's a popular fast food in Israel, where it was introduced by Iraqi immigrants. You can find an acceptable recipe here.

I recently also made these Azerbaijani eggplant rolls, which were excellent.
posted by ciocarlia at 8:21 AM on October 2, 2008

Mmm. I love eggplant.

I just made caponata and even non-eggplant-fanatics tend to love it.

2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Add a diced onion, a few cloves of chopped garlic, and (if you have it) chopped celery. Melt the onions about 10 mins over medium heat. Add 2 more Tbsp olive oil and two eggplant chopped in half-inch cubes. Cook another 10 mins. Add: a handful of chopped olives (green or Kalamata), two Tbsp of capers, and a can of chopped tomatoes. Season with basil and oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook covered over low-medium heat till the eggplant are cooked through. You can continue to simmer this as long as you want, it only gets better (and it's better yet after sitting in the fridge for a few days).

Served warm or room-temperature with lightly-toasted bread. Yum. You can easily add or substitute ingredients, too, if you want more or less of something.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:21 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I guess you've checked this (10 days ago).
posted by nicolin at 8:24 AM on October 2, 2008

I make my baba ghannouj in big batches and freeze it. Sometimes the texture is changed a bit, but usually I can't tell the difference between frozen and fresh. I've put it in freezer bags and in tupperware containers.
posted by Killick at 8:40 AM on October 2, 2008

Cut the eggplant in 1/4 inch slices. Layer on a plate, and sprinkle each layer with a liberal amount of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Dredge each slice in a flour+water+salt+pepper batter (crepe batter consistency) and fry in a good amount of olive oil. Drain on sheets of kitchen towel and eat with highly garlicyfied tzatziki. Yum!
posted by AwkwardPause at 8:41 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I like them sliced long ways and grilled with small amount butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:49 AM on October 2, 2008

I would also suggest caponata--agreeing that people who hate eggplant seem to love it. I don't put oregano or basil in it. I carmelize an onion with some celery. Then add chopped olives, capers and 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Then I add a can of tomatoes, about 1/3 cup of vinegar. Some people like to add raisins (I do, but lots of folks don't like them) While that's cooking, I fry up the eggplant cubes on the stovetop and then mix it all together.

Cook's Illustrated some months back recommended microwaving the eggplant (on lots of paper towels) before adding it to the hot pan because it removes some of the moisture which can often make caponata too runny. You can also salt the eggplant cubes, place on paper towels, and then squish them under a baking sheet weighted with canned goods to eliminate moisture.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:27 AM on October 2, 2008

I have two recipes from a surprisingly bare-bones and simple southeast Asian cookbook I picked up once.

First is the Laotian recipe: -- it's a stir-fry of about a half-pound of sliced or chopped eggplant and a half pound of ground beef, seasoned with a chopped clove of garlic and one chopped chile pepper. Fry up the garlic and pepper first, then add the ground beef and eggplant and stirfry until cooked through; throw in a handful of shredded basil right before serving.

Then there's the Cambodian recipe (which I haven't tried yet, I admit): slice up one eggplant, beat one egg and dip the slices in the beaten egg, then deep-fry them a couple minutes. Then take them off the heat, beat up one more egg together with a couple chopped scallions and some fish sauce, and then pour that into a frying pan for about a minute, stirring it around as if you were making scrambled eggs -- but before it starts setting, add the eggplant slices back. And then from that point you treat it like a pancake -- letting it cook on one side, then you flip the whole mess over with a spatula and cook on the other side.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:28 AM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

um . . . in addition to freezing the baba ghanouj . . . maybe you could just find someone at work who LOVES eggplant . . . and make some sort of a trade? . . . it's just a thought . . .
posted by deejay jaydee at 9:53 AM on October 2, 2008

Grill the eggplant (bonus points if you do it over charcoal ), and peel. Cut open, remove seeds and mash with a fork. Add olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and blend into a homogeneous paste. Eat with bread, goes great with strong alcohol.

Also, AwkwardPause is highly attuned to the Way of the Eggplant.
posted by ghost of a past number at 11:00 AM on October 2, 2008

Here's a recipe for a Hungarian aubergine cream you and your family might like.

Like bjgeiger, I slice mine and then grill the slices. Instead of butter, I coat them liberally with roasted walnut oil. (Hey, it was on sale and I was feeling bold.) You can do the same with zucchini and yellow squash. Simple and yummy. Honestly, if the rest of your family doesn't like it, it is more for you.
posted by onhazier at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2008

My favorite recipe is sort of an Asian spin on baba ganouj. You blend the cooked eggplant with sesame oil, some chopped fresh chile pepper, a bit of rice vinegar, and garlic. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh basil or cilantro. My cookbooks are in a box somewhere, but I think it's from Jack Bishop's book Vegetables Every Day.
posted by creepygirl at 7:41 PM on October 2, 2008

I found a "lowfat" recipe for baked eggplant that involves slicing the eggplant into quarter or half inch slices, spreading each side with a thin layer of mayo and then dipping into breadcrumbs (seasoned anyway you like). Place the disks on an ungreased baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes or until browned. It's super easy and I think it's considered lowfat because you aren't frying the slices in oil (there is the mayo as a fat to adhere the crumbs, though). What I really like about this recipe is the great texture that results. The flesh of the eggplant turns melt-in-your-mouth soft and the skins crisp up. Often I just heat up a bowl of marinara and just dip the eggplant in, eating with my fingers. Works as an appetizer, or with pasta, or sandwiches parmagiana-style .
posted by amusebuche at 8:29 PM on October 2, 2008

Thanks everyone for the great recipe ideas!!! I'm feeling very optimistic about that inevitable eggplant that I'll find tonight in my CSA share!
posted by jujube at 6:02 AM on October 3, 2008

I found a "lowfat" recipe for baked eggplant that involves slicing the eggplant into quarter or half inch slices, spreading each side with a thin layer of mayo and then dipping into breadcrumbs (seasoned anyway you like).

I do this but using egg instead of mayo. Works with zucchini, too. (In place of the eggplant, not mayo. Ha ha.)
posted by iguanapolitico at 8:34 AM on October 3, 2008

Cut eggplant into thick slices.
Lay on a surface, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and let them sit for an hour.
Dip slices into a beaten egg or two.
Dip slices that were dipped into egg into a pile of breadcrumbs
Fry 'em up!
posted by bondgirl53001 at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Miso glazed eggplant. Oh my goodness.
posted by ms.v. at 4:38 PM on October 3, 2008

I found this thread after cooking an amazing eggplant dish tonite - I was about to post a question on great eggplant recipes. I will be trying many of recipes above - the ten aubergine plants in my garden are beginning to produce...

I just tried an eggplant recipe from A Spoonful of Ginger and it was so f#$%ing good.

The book is currently out of print, but you can pick it up cheap online and the recipe is all over the web: its called Saucy Braised Eggplant.

(I left out the sugar, was out of fresh ginger and threw in several siam queen basil leaves and the meal left me feeling relaxed and content without being stuffed... maybe there is something to the book's medicinal bent?)
posted by cinemafiend at 7:49 PM on June 15, 2009

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