One version of Eggplant Parmesan. -Wikimedia Commons
I've since had Eggplant Parmesan that was entirely different than Mom's in that the eggplant was sliced lengthwise rather than into coins, sometimes in coin shape, but served on the plate with sauce and cheese and pasta on the side. Mom's didn't have the pasta, but it was still good.
Another tasty idea is grilled eggplant. Usually brushed with olive oil and then salted and peppered, it picks up all the essences that only grilling can offer, such as that smoky taste and those wonderful grill marks. Thinly sliced eggplant cooked this way briefly tastes fantastic as a pizza topping. You can also experiment with a variety of marinades to add more deeply embedded flavor before grilling.
One Way to Grill Eggplant. © Amihay Shraga | Dreamstime.com
Another way I like eggplant is Moussaka, a type of Mediterranean Eggplant Parmesan. There are two distinct kinds depending on what region originated the recipe. One has sliced potatoes along with eggplant, meat sauce and bechamel sauce and the other has no potatoes. That is the one I prefer. The picture comes from the recipe site that is exactly the way I like it. FYI - although it won't be authentic, you can use straight ground beef.
Then there is Eggplant Rollatini. As far as I'm concerned, Rollatini is just another way to make Eggplant Parm, except the eggplant is sliced lengthwise and rolled around the filling. Often it is found with chopped spinach in with the ricotta cheese filling, but it's wonderful without it, too. Another link to a recipe will follow the photo from that recipe's site.
There is another recipe I just love but I haven't found anything online that duplicates it. It is called Mediterranean Medley and I order it when we go to Norma's Mediterranean Restaurant in Cherry Hill. OMG, I love this stuff. It has eggplant, zucchini, onion, bell peppers and tomatoes all cooked down in a seasoned tomato sauce and served with rice pilaf. Oh, heavens, that is good stuff. Who cares that there is no meat when you have that kind of yumminess on hand!!
That's about it, though, for my tasty ideas for eggplant. I've always been a hardsell when it comes to trying new things, so I understand how uncomfortable it can be. That's why I'm offering such "middle of the road" ideas for you to try because I do think that, even if you don't love them, you definitely won't hate them. Let me know if you try any of them and how you liked them, if you would.