5 Eggplant Recipes: Tips to Make the Most of Nature’s Wackiest Vegetable
Think eggplant is weird? Yep, me too! But here are five eggplant recipes that will teach you how to love nature’s wackiest vegetable!
The title says it all: I think that eggplant is truly the wackiest vegetable. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a wonderful ingredient in your kitchen. It has a beautiful aubergine color and is quite versatile! Here are five eggplant recipes that are easy, delicious, and help you make the most of this odd veggie.
1. Vegan Eggplant Parmesan is kinda a classic dish, and this version is so freakin’ good. The process is easy, but it does take a bit of time to dredge, coat and bake. But it’s so good, and it’s worth making a double batch. You can use the eggplant pieces on sandwiches or in wraps too. This recipe works with both round and Japanese eggplant, but the larger ones work best just to save you time and give you larger-sized pieces to enjoy.
2. Thai-Style Green Curry is the ultimate comfort food. This recipe uses a pre-made curry paste for a super easy weeknight meal to be served with rice, rice noodles or just as a soup. Try your favorite veggies: broccoli, bok choi, peppers, carrots, but don’t forget the eggplant. All varieties will work here, even those teeny green eggplants you find at the farmers’s markets.
3. Homemade Baba Gannosh is not pretty, but it is so damn tasty. Think of baba gannoush (or baba gannoujh or a million other spellings) as the sexier, smokier cousin to hummus. It’s made with the same ingredients, but with roasted (or charred) eggplants as the base instead of chickpeas. Since I prefer not to use open flame in the kitchen I use liquid smoke in this recipe to give it the perfect smokey, roasted flavor without the fire hazard. Serve with pita, veggies or crackers for an awesome, wholesome (if slightly mushy, icky-looking) snack.
4. Tamarind Lentils is a great everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipe: slightly old produce, odds and ends, misshapen veggies and anything you might not love as a stand-alone vegetable (eggplant, in my case) can all be used in this simple lentil dish. Best of all, when using red lentils, the cook time is really short, so this is a perfect weeknight dinner and it makes great leftovers too! The recipe here doesn’t call for any specific veggies, so just be sure to adjust cook time to ensure a soft-textured eggplant and anything else you toss in there!
5. Finally: Eggplant Bacon! So you guys have heard that raising pigs for bacon is, like, pretty terrible for the environment and for your body, right? But everyone loves the flavor. Problem solved with, yep, EGGPLANT. Check out this awesome list of plant-based bacon on Eat Drink Better to get your bacon on without the environmental and health concerns of bacon from pigs.