When cooked just right, this notorious nightshade carries a rich texture and boasts a superior flavor anyone can admire. However, if your only experience with it has been a bitter-tasting (and unappealing) dish, then we really do insist you revisit this culinary fruit with these fresh recipes.
Before you get to cooking, though, we have a critical tip to share. Always slice and generously sprinkle sea salt on your eggplant. The salt helps extract bitter-tasting moisture from those pretty purple slices, which really brings out the magnificent flavor inside. Some will steer you away from doing this, but there’s no better way to maximize eggplant flavor and texture than a little salt treatment.
If you’ve spent your life loathing everything (or any meal) made with eggplant, then perhaps this recipe is a place to start. Lisa, from Garlic and Zest, always detested the ingredient due to the absurd about of ratatouille she felt forced to eat throughout her childhood.
Determined to delight even the most stubborn eggplant haters, she created a rollatini recipe that anyone could fall in love with. Be sure to give this simple yet delicious recipe a go, whether you love eggplant or not.
Get the Recipe: Garlic and Zest
Baked Eggplant Sticks
If you are looking for a tasty way to snack on this plump purple fruit, then this eggplant sticks recipe is just for you. Whether you choose to bake or air fry them, this tasty treat packs a punch of flavor.
After slicing and salting, you’ll dip them in lightly whisked egg whites, then into a bowl of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Spray with oil and bake before indulging in these tender, crispy bite-size delights.
Get the Recipe: Skinny Taste
Easy Greek Style Eggplant Stew
Cold nights are best enjoyed with hot stews that please and warm the soul. While traditional beef bourguignon and Irish stew might pop into mind, we love recommending this lovely Eggplant stew.
Filled with hearty chunks of eggplant, protein-filled chickpeas, warm spices like cinnamon and turmeric, this Greek meal is a winner. Serve this tender and filling dish with warm pita bread and a side of olives and nuts.
Get the Recipe: The Mediterranean Dish
Twice Baked Eggplant
If you are looking for an original way to try this versatile ingredient, then these twice-baked eggplant boats are an absolute must-try. These creamy concoctions are stuffed with simple ingredients, including aromatics like garlic and onion, freshly grated cheese, eggplant, of course, and an egg for binding.
Once finished, this rich and flavorful meal pairs well with a side salad or whole-grain pasta topped with a simple marinara or vodka sauce of your choosing.
Get the Recipe: One Dish Kitchen
Cheesy Zucchini and Eggplant Bake
Casseroles are all the rage in winter, too, which is why we had to include this lovely baked dish recipe. Layers of roasted zucchini, squash, eggplant, followed by tomatoes, garlic, and globs of ricotta and mozzarella, make up this fantastic meal.
Be sure to whip out a batch of freshly baked focaccia bread (or any garlic bread you like) for that matter, so you have the perfect duo of delish.
Get the Recipe: Bon Appetit
Persian Eggplant Stew with Beef
If you love trying your hand at new and exciting recipes filled with aromatic ingredients you’ve never worked with, then this Persian one-pot meal is perfect for you. The traditional stew is booming with bright middle eastern flavors that complement one another without flaw. Be sure to use Indian eggplant if you can find it.
Homa, from Persian Mama, does a lovely job of providing substitutes for ingredients you might have a hard time finding in a regular supermarket. She also offers some tips for finding the most authentic recipes you need for creating an authentic Khoresh Bademjan (a.k.a. eggplant stew).
Get the Recipe: Persian Mama
Grilled Eggplant with Garlic Vinaigrette
If it’s warm where you live, you likely keep the grill out all year round. If that’s, in fact, the case for you, be sure to try grilled eggplant out.
These zesty eggplant slices are seasoned to perfection and taste (and look) phenomenal with flame-kissed grill marks. Once drizzled with garlic vinaigrette and smothered with tangy, rich feta cheese, you’ll love each complementing bite.
Get the Recipe: Diethood
Italian Sauteed Eggplant
If you are looking for an uncomplicated dish that you can whip up for the family in no time at all, you are looking at it. Combine humble ingredients like cubed (and salted) eggplant, canned tomatoes with garlic, basil, oregano, and sautee until tender and ready. Enjoy this simple saute on cheese tortellini, or as is with a side Greek salad.
Get the Recipe: Read Set Eat
Moussaka (Greek Eggplant Lasagna)
Moussaka is one of those heavenly casserole types of dishes that everyone has to try in their lives. Layered with meaty, rich tomato sauce, hot eggplant sheets, and a thick velvety layer of bechamel sauce, this one-of-a-kind meal is one for the books.
Like many other traditional and authentic recipes, moussaka takes time to assemble and bake, but the results are well worth it. Next time you have a few hours to burn, paired with a desire to fill your home with soul-warming aromas, be sure to give this delight a try.
Get the Recipe: Recipe Tin Eats
Finally, give your new favorite ingredient a spicy twist with this Szechuan recipe, which uses Japanese eggplant versus the American globe version you typically use.
Soy sauce, Szechuan peppercorns, sesame oil, and brown sugar are some of the main ingredients that make up the tasty sauce. You’ll love this sweet and savory version served with white rice or rice noodles.
Get the Recipe: Feasting at Home
As you can see, this purple plant offers so much depth and flavor to meals; it’s time you try for yourself.