This shiny, purple veggie is the perfect base for meatless dishes or a welcomed addition to burgers, seafood dishes, and pastas. When it's raw, eggplant is spongy and plain, but once it's roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stir-fried, it comes into its full glory: tender, creamy flesh with a satisfying meatiness. That makes it ideal for meatless sandwiches or chicken Parmesan-style dishes. It's equally delicious when grilled and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette for a warm side salad or slow roasted with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and a squeeze of zesty lemon juice. Pick one up at the farmers' market or grocery store and see how it shines in these recipes.
Cooking with Eggplant
A cousin to tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, the eggplant gets its name from the first varieties of its kind, which were white, round, and egg-size. Now they also come in green and deep purple and are typically much larger. Although available year-round, they are most abundant from July to October. Look for firm eggplants that feel heavy for their size and have smooth, shiny skins and bright green stems. Try some of the recipes in this gallery for maximizing tastiness while cooking with eggplant.
Our Roasted Eggplants with Herbs recipe is a classic example of the delectable qualities of this veggie. This simple preparation yields irresistible results. Use very firm, small eggplants; if young and fresh enough, they won't be bitter.