When my girls were little, around one and three years old, I made Eggplant Parmesan.
Now, I believe that we have some of those picture perfect (or video perfect) moments. This was one of them for me. My daughters worked alongside me, making the dinner and eating it. I was so proud to have gotten them to eat this odd fruit, which most people think is a vegetable, as I was told that most kids turn their noses to it.
The versatility goes far beyond Eggplant Parmesan, though, and here are some delicious recipes I would love to share with you.
Eggplant Recipes Worthy of a Unique Fruit
1. Eggplant Parmesan
We are going to start where it all began- Eggplant Parmesan. Julie from Table for Two recommends salting the eggplant after you slice it and letting it sit for forty-five minutes to an hour. This is a crucial step because it helps get some of the water out and makes it less runny in the end.
I am telling you- if you like lasagna and want something healthier- this is it! Heck- even the little ones liked it.
2. Baba Ganoush
Not sure if I chose this one because I love the sound of the name or because it is delicious. Maybe it is because of both.
I love how he uses extra virgin olive oil in this recipe as well as cumin and parsley. Mmmm…. that flavor combination mixed with the blandness of the eggplant would make for a delicious dip.
Even better that it's a dip you can use for several different products- from pita bread to plants. Adam at Inspired Taste did a good job with this one.
3. Eggplant Pizza
Around the same time my girls first tried eggplant my mother had three teenagers living under her roof. Needless to say, it was not unusual to come over to her house and find the extra freezer full of teen-friendly food, including the little pizza bagels and pizza rolls.
These are a healthier version of those. The eggplants are supposed to be tender so you need to cook them first and then add the pizza toppings. For the full recipe, go to Gimme Delicious Food.
4. One Pan Dish
Lexi from Lexi's Clean Kitchen says this is her throw-together meal when she doesn't want to cook. Are you kidding me? Mad props to her! I either end up in the kitchen, mad for a few minutes (It doesn't take long for me to get in the cooking mood) or I go get something quick.
This recipe is fresh. So fresh that she even uses fresh herbs. Fresh and delicious, one pot is the way to go on a day when you don't even want to be in the kitchen!
5. Eggplant Zucchini Bake
The Eggplant Zucchini Bake is super fresh and I learned, when reading Erin's post on Well Plated, that the salt brings out the bitterness of larger eggplants that are more developed due to the length of time growing on the vine.
Again, I love this because it is a fresh recipe. My only concern is that she has us baking in the middle of the summer. I feel like summer dishes are cooler to match the time of year.
Therefore, this recipe would be great if you have an outdoor kitchen or can preserve these ingredients to make it later!
6. Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant
I noticed a theme after I read the recipe for this one. It seems that eggplant is known for its Mediterranean side. The Baba Ganoush has the same theme as this Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant recipe.
At first, I thought the author, Alyssa, was a bit crazy because she said that most of the ingredients we probably had on hand. A few years back before I was a major foodie you would not have seen quinoa in my kitchen. Then I realized that the website was titled “Simply Quinoa“.
Okay, that makes more sense besides I just love all the fresh vegetables in these recipes!
7. Baked Eggplant
This is truly a baked eggplant because that is the only thing in this dish and it could be eaten as a side dish or as a main dish in the heat of midday in the summer. I could see it being a deceptive fried green tomato.
It is not fried though, it's baked. The author, Little B Cooks, is a self-declared eggplant snob who wrote a recipe that was good enough to end on this list so I would say it is a well-deserved title!
8. Eggplant “Bacon”
I love the idea of this having a smoky sweet flavor to it; based on the recipe I could definately see myself using it in a sandwich. That being said I love me some bacon so it would take a bit of a stretch to make it replace bacon in my diet.
Dana at the Minimalist Baker has some great reviews on it, though. Four stars total with over thirty reviews. I would say people believe it's a winner! Give it a taste for yourself.
9. Eggplant Parm Bites
Going back to needing those little bites to get both kids, teens, and adults through the day- these babies win. With bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, and paremesan cheese, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Erin at Pure Wow did a great job!
10. Eggplant Pasta
It is really rare to see eggplant in a pasta dish. Normally the eggplant is substituting the pasta. The noodles look delicious, for some reason I just cannot get over the round and round and round of the noodles.
The eggplant is actually chopped up small and thrown in with the other vegetables and makes for a great vegetarian dish. The name for it is actually Pasta alla Norma and it's a Sicilian dish.
I think I need more Sicilian dishes in my repertoire. To see this recipe in full details, it can be found over at Salt & Lavendar.
11. Ratatouille Quiche
Lisa from Garlic and Zest has some beautiful wording.
The opposite of Little B Cooks, Lisa looks at eggplant with a “What in the world am I going to do with this?” point of view.
Her wording is beautiful though, she talks about caramelizing the fruit to give them a nicer taste and the eggy cream of the quiche. Had my mouth watering.
This recipe is a take of the Ratatouille Quiche and a definite reflection of Lisa herself. Delicious.
12. Greek Moussaka
We haven't seen many really meaty dishes and this Greek dish looks very hearty. It is one that I would say would make a better fall or winter dish. However, looks might be deceiving.
It has eggplant on the bottom and the top. In the middle is the meat mixture which also has a bit of tomato and oregano. Above that I thought was a mashed potato topping but it was actually a thick cheese sauce with breadcrumbs combination.
It really looks good and I have to agree with Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats, give it a try!
13. Eggplant Fries
When I was a teenager I was a vegetarian for two years. During that time I received a cookbook and that started my spiral into the culinary world I am sure.
In this cookbook was a recipe for sweet potato fries. I made them with vegetarian sloppy joes and people would rave about my cooking. Even I was impressed.
As time went on, I found other substitutes for potato fries such as zucchini fries and even carrot fries. Martha from A Family Feast came up with this recipe that does require you to deep fry your eggplants. Deep fried eggplant? I think yes!
14. Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin
Is it bad that I know I had this recipe last spring when my former students and I made it but for the life of me I don't remember what it tasted like?
I am sure it was delicious though because I agree with Lisa- vegetables are better after they have been caramelized a little, especially squash foods that get softer when they are baked. Add the cheese and spices and it makes for a delicious, fresh side dish.
To see the recipe in it's entirety, head over to SkinnyMs.
15. Eggplant Meatballs
Using eggplant as a substitute for meat is a great idea because it gives a heartiness similar to that of meat. I would say that this recipe is healthier but it is deep fried; however, this recipe is gluten free and vegetarian. Essentially it's a give and take then.
If you were looking to have less meat in your diet you could make this and substitute spaghetti squash with this recipe for a fullfilling meal. To see exactly how to make the recipe, check out Amy's post over at A Healthy Life for Me.
16. Balsamic Chicken Stuffed Eggplant
Again, this is a food lover's paradise. Complete with ground chicken, mushrooms, and balsamic vinegar. If you've never had the latter of the two- it really brings out the chicken, giving a nice twang to it.
Since one of my favorite ways to make this is with fresh spinach, I am sure this recipe would go over well with me. The Sophisticated Caveman did a good job with this stuffed recipe.
17. Honey Glazed Moroccan Eggplant
Yet another beautifully worded blog post. She describes her love of honey in a way that only a breast feeding mother who cannot have honey can.
The first thing that she made when she knew she wouldn't be feeding little one was a this Moroccan Eggplant with little spicy notes to it such as ginger and cumin. It sounds delicious.
To read it for yourself, check it out over at Bunsen Burner Bakery.
18. Eggplant Patties
In 2001 there was probably someone, somewhere writing about their love for food. But these were long before the days of blogging and pinterest.
I wish somebody would have told the teenager me about these. Even as I write this I think I need to eat a little better. Not to lose weight, though that would be a nice benefit, but because all this food looks delicious and would be a great way to get healthier food in my life.
Mike, over at The Iron You, writes about how great this recipe is and even takes it far enough to say that it is the best ever. Added bonus? No need for egg meaning that it is one step above vegetarian, it's vegan friendly!
Yet no one looks as if they are missing out by eating this.
19. Italian Marinated Eggplant
This recipe is my idea of a summer dish. It is similar to a vinegar based pasta salad that you would eat when it's hot outside.
Cooked just enough to make the eggplant soft, the vinegar base is added afterwards and served with your choice of dishes or it can be refrigerated for six hours to let the eggplant soak in more of the juices, which would be my choice.
Maybe make it after eating brunch and eat it at dinner time. To see more, head over to Inside The Rustic Kitchen.
20. Eggplant Bowl
I was sold on this recipe as soon as I read the title of the blog, Coffee & Crayons. That might sum up my life pretty well.
But the recipe does sound delicous as well. It has mint, yogurt, and rice in it. It also has garbanzo beans which are great for the vegetarian and cumin and red pepper for the spice lover. See, a little bit for everyone in this bowl. So be sure to bring a fork and dig in!
No matter if your looking for an Italian dish, a Greek dish, a Scandinavian dish or just something different from the normal, this was a good post to stop by and read in order to receive some great ideas.
I hope you found something you can work with no matter your taste buds or desires for this versatile plant. Be sure to check out some of our other great recipe collections!