Eggplant ideas needed.
August 18, 2009 2:02 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite eggplant recipes?

I have a bag of smallish purple eggplants, maybe slightly bigger than Thai eggplants. How should I cook them? Although I love eggplant parmesan, I'd like something slightly more interesting. I also love baigan bharta, but that seems hard to do well given my level of cooking expertise. I tend to prefer Asian flavors when I cook and I have access to a well stocked Asian market and a decent Indian one, too. What should I make?
posted by hilaritas to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
I like to slice an eggplant in half, scoop out the innards and fill with a mix of ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, garlic, pepper, basil (I change it up a lot) and spray the bottoms with oil and bake. I call them Eggplant meat Boats.

Another thing I like is to peel the eggplant and bake the skin until it turns light brown. It tastes like bacon!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:10 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, I guess I should have mentioned that I'm a vegetarian. Meat recipes are welcome, though, because I can always substitute seitan/tofu/tempeh/whatever. Thanks!
posted by hilaritas at 2:11 PM on August 18, 2009

Sorry..missed the Asian flavor part. In that case, replace spices with garlic, ginger, add whole peas and sprouts and some fermented black bean and a touch of fish sauce. Drizzle with sesame oil and bake.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:12 PM on August 18, 2009

Ah, ok..easy :) Replace the meat with one part wheat gluten, one part chick pea flour and one part cooked bulgar wheat (barley or wile rice works really well, too). Mix into a heavy paste with water and rice wine vinegar and a bit of soy sauce or Bragg's aminos.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:14 PM on August 18, 2009

I love the "curried eggplant with coconut milk" from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. You can get to the recipe on Google Books.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:15 PM on August 18, 2009

This Honey Eggplant from Mark Bittman turned out really good. Found through the Reader's Digest, of all places. DO serve it with yogurt. It added a lot, I thought.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 2:22 PM on August 18, 2009

I like eggplant with Japanese Curry (the packaged kind in blocks), especially the sweet "Vermont Curry". I usually roast the eggplant while melting down the curry with stock (veg in your case) and/or coconut milk and any other vegetables going in, and then toss the eggplant in for a few minutes to soak up some sauce.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:28 PM on August 18, 2009

posted by trip and a half at 2:32 PM on August 18, 2009

I was also going to say Ratatouille, but this one! (I still haven't gotten around to making it - the small eggplant is the thing I never have.)
posted by peep at 2:54 PM on August 18, 2009

Saw this recently on Apartment Therapy. There seem to be a few good ones.

This was my suggestion there,
"Cut eggplant into pieces that fit in a pot. Fill pot with water. Boil pieces of eggplant until they are soft. Remove and drain in colander. Add soy sauce and toasted sesame oil and hot pepper sauce (sambal or sriracha or chili oil). This looks quite ugly but tastes great."

It really does come out looking like awful mush.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:01 PM on August 18, 2009

Similar to what cat pie hurts said, but this looks good: Japanese slow-roasted eggplant with dengaku sauce.
posted by bread-eater at 3:16 PM on August 18, 2009

Simple treatment of eggplant is to slice 'em in half (the little Japanese kind, not the big kind), add a schmear of good quality miso paste, and then grill 'em up. Add hot sauce and/or a sprinkle of sesame seeds if you are so inclined.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:45 PM on August 18, 2009

Turkish Roasted Eggplant Salad with Yogurt

If you have a grill, use the grill otherwise use the burners. Place the eggplants whole on the grill (poke holes with a fork so that they don't explode when they get hot) and roast them so that the peel is almost burned. Throw in some anaheim peppers also. So I'd say 1.5 lbs eggplant and 3-4 anaheim peppers roasted. When they are done (10 minutes for peppers (5 min on each side) and about 15-20 minutes for the eggplants, turn them so it gets cooked evenly) wrap them around paper towels and place them in a plastic bag and let cool. In the meantime grind/mash a half cup of walnuts and crush couple cloves of garlic (if you like). When the eggplants/peppers are cool enough to handle, cut the stems and discard and peel the eggplants with your fingers gently. If small pieces of burned peel gets in, it's ok, it will enhance the distinct grilled taste. Cut into small pieces. Peel the peppers, get rid of the seeds and the stem and cut into small pieces. Now mix the eggplant and pepper in a bowl and mash with a fork a little. Add 1 lemon's juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, walnut (that you crushed) and a cup of plain yogurt. Mix it! Decorate it with tomato wedges and some paprika.

I know I made it sound complicated BUT if read it again, you'll realize it is actually very easy.

Here is a list of things you'll need (to make it easier):

Eggplant - 1.5 lbs
Anaheim peppers - 4
Lemon - 1
Walnuts - 1/2 cup
Olive oil - 1 Tablespoon
Garlic - 2, 3 or more cloves
Plain yogurt - 1 cup

paprika and tomatoes for serving and presentation.
posted by eebs at 3:50 PM on August 18, 2009

the recipe bread-eater linked to is mine (well my mom's)... I might also recommend this one (stewed eggplant, but it comes out looking quite pretty), especially for small eggplants. (selflinkage)
posted by thread_makimaki at 3:56 PM on August 18, 2009

All these are good:

Grilled aubergines with lentils
Indian-style eggpllant and tomato curry
Szechuan-style eggplant

Babaganoush is also good - make a basic one by slow-roasting a whole eggplant over a gas flame or BBQ until it's charred on the outside and soft inside, then whizz in a blender with some tahini. Eat with Turkish or Lebansese bread
posted by girlgenius at 4:03 PM on August 18, 2009

I liked this Split Peas with Honey-sweetened eggplant.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:17 PM on August 18, 2009

Here are some recipes from a question last year around harvest time.
If you have an electric stove, you can still do baba ghannouj by poking the eggplant with a fork, broiling until soft, and then sitting them on the orange-hot stove element and turning a few times. Be sure to open a window and turn off the smoke alarm first. Peel off the charred skin. Be shy with the garlic, but not with the lemon.
posted by Killick at 4:39 PM on August 18, 2009

Baingan Bhartha.
posted by cyniczny at 5:46 PM on August 18, 2009

Sorry, ignore. I just read the main part of your question. :}
posted by cyniczny at 5:46 PM on August 18, 2009

My family really likes this recipe for Eggplant Steak with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers, Feta Cheese and Black Olives.
posted by pasici at 6:03 PM on August 18, 2009

Thai Basil Eggplant is a favorite at our house.
posted by imposster at 6:39 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Pickled eggplants (berenjenas en escabeche) Argentine style -- they are great cold or hot, on bread or as a pizza topping. There's a recipe at the bottom of this page (and some travel narrative hyperbole to boot), although we also add thinly sliced carrots and onions to ours.
posted by dr. boludo at 8:53 PM on August 18, 2009

Best eggplant dish I've ever had was nasu dengaku, mentioned above. Japanese eggplant topped/covered with a sweet miso sauce and broiled/grilled. Had it in a Japanese restaurant. Spectacular. Tried once to reproduce it, did okay but not great, so I won't recommend a specific recipe.
posted by madmethods at 10:02 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Trick I learned in Egypt: boil the eggplants whole. That way, the flesh doesn't discolor, the seeds don't get as noticeable, and often it's less bitter. Just remove stems and boil whole until fork tender. If you want to continue it in the Egyptian style, wait until chilled and then rip the eggplants open into quarters, douse in fresh lemon juice and season with salt, hot pepper, and fresh garlic. Refreshingly delicious.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:46 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Pomegranate molasses is delicious with roasted eggplant.

Roast sliced aubergines till golden, then drizzle with a sauce made of pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt and olive oil. Optionally, dried or fresh mint. Mash it all up and it turns into a lovely mezze style dip or sandwich spread. You can get pomegranate molasses very inexpensively from a Lebanese/ Arab food store or more expensively from a big organic or health shop.
posted by tavegyl at 1:50 AM on August 19, 2009

Slightly different from the recipe mentioned above: Spicy Sichuan Eggplant / Fish Fragrant Eggplant, my favorite eggplant recipe. You can add diced Five Spice Tofu for a bit of protein. The spiciness of the chilies and Sichuan peppercorn goes so well with the relative blandness of the eggplant.
posted by so much modern time at 8:58 AM on August 19, 2009

Agreed about the pomegranate molasses. I just made this the other day: Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses. Super easy and really satisfying, even if you don't make rice to go along with it, since the lentils bulk it out a bit. I just simmer the lentils while I'm cutting up the vegetables, and by the time I'm done chopping everything's ready to go. Then you just ignore it for an hour, and voila, dinner. If your eggplants are young and tender you don't need to salt them here.

Almost Turkish, the website I found the recipe on, has a variety of other Turkish eggplant dishes. Not all of them are vegetarian, but many of them are.
posted by felix grundy at 10:07 AM on August 19, 2009

I made this eggplant and olive pizza, and I've been craving it ever since. (Note: I did not grill the pizza. It works just as fine if you pan-fry the eggplant etc. and bake it in an oven. Sooooo good.)
posted by Turkey Glue at 3:09 PM on August 19, 2009

One AMAZING (no seriously, amazing) recipe for the miso glazed eggplant that madmethod mentioned is here at epicurious. Did I mention it's amazing?
posted by ms.v. at 8:42 PM on August 19, 2009

Szechuan eggplant! Oh my god.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:32 PM on August 20, 2009

Pasta-free eggplant lasagna.
posted by Brittanie at 6:11 AM on August 22, 2009

Damn, I only just found this, but here is one of my all-time favourite aubergine recipes, and it's really easy.

Mix together:

- Cubed and roasted aubergines (cook with some oil, until they've shrunk down a lot and almost starting to caramelise/burn).
- Puy lentils (or castillo or whatever they're called... NOT green/brown or red lentils) - just boil for 20 mins and drain
- Cream, greek yoghurt or creme fraiche
- A tablespoon or so of real balsamic vinegar (proper, aged stuff is best)
- A tablespoon or so of real soy sauce/tamari (fancy organic stuff is best, but kikkomans will do).
Stir everything together and adjust these last two ingredients to taste. It sounds crazy but is indescribly good. Trust me.
posted by 8k at 4:09 PM on September 10, 2009

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