Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tasty Ideas for Eggplant

When I was growing up, we had eggplant a lot. Mom had an old French fry cutter that she'd use to cut the eggplant into sticks that she'd bread and fry for us to have at dinner time (I can't remember with what since I tended to pig out on the eggplant). She'd also make Eggplant Parmesan much like you'd make lasagna, except she'd use breaded and fried eggplant "coins" instead of pasta. It never occurred to me that we had many vegetarian meals until I grew up. But, that Parmesan was how I introduced my stepdaughter to eggplant. It really works with kids!

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 |

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.


  1. I've never actually eaten eggplant, but I recently Hubby and I have decided we want to expand our food horizons including more fruits and veggies and trying new stuff. And those eggplant pix all look soooo yummy!

  2. Man, I wish I hadn't come over here around noon. You're making me hungry! I love eggplant :) My husband I and I use it in curry all the time. Too bad he hasn't kept up his food blog, or I'd leave you a link.

    Found you through the A-to-Z Challenge "surprise me" button. Enjoy your eggplant!

    I think you're right. I overthink punctuation now after using too many ellipses early on in my writing. I will say, though, that when characters interrupt each other, I tend to use the m-dash to suggest there was more to come, which I find to be less distracting than an ellipsis. I hope I'm right, but one never knows.

    Found you through the A-to-Z "surprise me" button, and I'm glad I did. Great post.

    East for Green Eyes

  3. I'm from the Caribbean and we have a dish that is essentially mashed eggplant gussied up with spices. We serve it with stewed saltfish and boiled yams. It's wonderful. This post made me a little homesick.

  4. I've had eggplant once in my life, when invited to my boss' house of all things. His wife made eggplant parmiagiana (sp) and the cheesy part was ok, but I had to choke down the eggplant.

  5. If they used an older eggplant, it could be stringy and bitter. As I've gotten older, I've come to enjoy even the bitter, but I'll never like the stringy. My first exposure was the breaded and fried - that pretty much sold me early on.

  6. These look and sound delicious. I've never had eggplant and now I will for sure. Thanks!

  7. I LOVE eggplant--and these all look amazing!! :O)

  8. Fantastic foods. I like it. Eggplant is one of my favorite. These could be better idea. I will try those.