Almost any food can be disappointing when not cooked properly, but in my experience, eggplant is one of the worst offenders.
At its best, eggplant is silken, meaty and, depending on how you cook it, smoky. In its less shining moments, it’s bitter, tough and squeaky to bite into.
If those unfortunate possibilities are enough to send a chill down your spine, no need to fret. We have a robust selection of eggplant recipes guaranteed to help this vegetable-that’s-actually-a-fruit shine.
Check out these options from our archives that will help you grill, broil, fry and roast your way to eggplant success.
Pasta With Italian Sausage, Tomatoes and Eggplant. This one-pot pasta is fast, simple and comforting. The shape of the pasta and type of sausage (meat or plant-based) are up for interpretation.
No-Fry Eggplant Parmesan. Trade frying breaded slices of eggplant for broiling them, and bring back the crisp texture with a generous topping of herby panko crumbs. Another option: Grilled Eggplant Parm from our Plant-Powered newsletter series.
Eggplant Bread Salad. Reem Kassis offers her Arab-inspired take on the summer bread salad by frying the eggplant and combining it with baked pita chips and a tahini sauce. Equally enticing is her recipe for Eggplant Steaks With Herbed Yogurt, Nuts and Pomegranate.
Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip. Even eggplant skeptics may be won over by a dip that transforms it into a perfect accompaniment to pita (fresh or chips), vegetables and more. Also on the table: Kashk-o Bademjan (Eggplant Dip With Kashk), Classic Baba Ghanouj and Greek Eggplant Dip (Melitzanosalata).
Kaeng Khiao Wan Nuea (Green Curry With Beef and Thai Eggplant). Here’s a great dish for trying the green spherical eggplant you may have spotted at the market. You can swap in long Asian eggplant, but it will soften faster and may reduce the cook time slightly.
Grilled Eggplant Salad. This recipe from Leela Punyaratabandhu, also the source of the curry above, is another example of how Asian cuisine is great at making the most of eggplant. The pieces are tossed with a sweet, tart and salty coconut milk dressing, with crispy shallots and cashews adding crunch. For a totally different global approach, see Turkish-Style Grilled Eggplant Salad.
Roasted Eggplant With Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins and Mint. When you roast chunks of eggplant with a lot of oil, you get them creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s just one textural element you’ll experience along with pickled raisins and crackling breadcrumbs.