It’s eggplant season, and I know I’m not the only one excited! Eggplant is great roasted or in eggplant parmesan, but there are plenty of other creative ways to use ‘em — click through to check out some ideas.
Earlier: 12 Ways to Use Summer Berries
1. Roasted Eggplant & Kale Pasta.
- 2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1 Eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 Ounces whole wheat penne or other short pasta
- 1 Punch kale, washed, ribs removed and roughly chopped
- 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 Ounces feta cheese (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon torn fresh oregano
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon oil over eggplant chunks, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange chunks on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft and just lightly browned.
2. While the eggplant is roasting, cook pasta in salted water according to the package’s directions, until just al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before straining. Transfer penne to a large bowl.
3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add red pepper and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes, until wilted and softened. You may need to work in batches.
4.Add pine nuts, eggplant and kale to bowl with pasta and toss. Add in about 1/4 cup of the cooking water at a time until you get your desired consistency. Transfer to serving bowls, garnish with oregano and serve with feta.
Recipe Adapated From: Clean Eating.
5. Braised Eggplant.
This is equally delicious hot and cold.
- 6 Small Italian Eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2 Medium onions, cut into 1/4 inch wedges lengthwise
- 1/4 Cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Large tomato plus 8 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 Cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 Teaspoon salt
1. Arrange oven racks to the middle position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Score the flesh of the eggplant 1/2 inch deep using a crosshatch pattern, but don’t cut through the skin. You should be making 1 inch squares. Place eggplant halves in a large roasting pan, cut sides facing up. Season with salt to taste.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Saute onions, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat before stirring in tomatoes, parsley, basil, lemon juice, salt and 2 teaspoons sugar.
4. Place the onion-tomato mixture onto the eggplant halves, mounding the mixture in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil and sugar with 1/3 cup water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour mixture over the eggplant slices. Tightly cover pan with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, removing ever 15 minutes to baste with the cooking liquid. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 40 minutes or so, until the eggplants are tender, the liquid has reduced and begun to caramelize. Drizzle pan juices over dishes before serving.
Recipe Adapted From: Epicurious.
9. Grilled Eggplant Salad with Tomato, Olive and Cucumber.
- 1 Large eggplant
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 Pint cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
- 2 Stalks celery, trimmed and diced finely
- 1 Sweet or Spring onion
- 1 Clove garlic, minced
- 5-7 Large green olives, pitted and slivered
- 1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Pinch red pepper flakes
1. Place rack in center of oven. Preheat to 375 degrees. Using nonstick foil or parchment paper, line a baking sheet.
2. Starting at the top of the eggplant with a vegetable peeler, cut 2 inch strips of eggplant’s peel. Discard peel. Remove the top and bottom of the eggplant, and then cut the middle portion into 6 1-inch thick slices. Transfer eggplant slices to the baking sheet and brush about 1 teaspoon of olive oil on each slice, followed by some salt and pepper. Roast until fully tender and browned lightly, about 45 minutes. Let the slices cool in the baking sheet.
3. Slice the eggplant with a mandoline or the slicing blade of a box grater.
4. Place tomatoes, celery, onion, garlic, olives, capers and oregano in a large bowl. Toss gently. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Season with red pepper, black paper and salt to taste. Place one slice of eggplant on each plate, and cover each slice with the tomato mixture. Drizzle some olive oil over the cucumber slices and toss, then strew over each plate. Finish with a little salt over the cucumber slices.
Recipe Credit: Dorie Greenspan.
More Eggplant Recipes:
10. Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan
11. Grilled Eggplant Stacks With Tomato, Feta & Basil
12. Eggplant Confetti Salad
13. Quick Zucchini and Eggplant Casserole
14. Grilled Eggplant Sandwich
15. Mediterranean Eggplant Delight