You'll find eggplant in dishes around the world, from Italian to Chinese to Indian cuisine. Vegetarians have long appreciated this hearty ingredient because it can be swapped in for meat in a number of recipes. And eggplants don't all look the same. They can be long and slender like Japanese eggplants, short and striped like the Sicilian versions, or white, like the aptly named white eggplant. This ingredient can be sautéed, roasted, grilled, fried and more. If you're using oil, make sure it's extra hot. According to chef Joël Robuchon, "Usually, cooked eggplant absorbs so much oil and becomes full of fat," which is why eggplant parmesan can be a soggy, greasy mess if not done right. His genius suggestion? If you can, soften the eggplant by steaming it instead of sautéing it in oil. F&W's guide covers all your favorite eggplant recipes, plus a few that might surprise you.

Most Recent

Ikra (Eggplant Caviar)
Twice-cooked eggplant provides the creamy base to this luscious, smoky condiment from Mini Kabob, a restaurant in Los Angeles. Seasoned with piquant hot pepper paste, fresh cilantro, and onion, it's delicious with lavash or as a dip for the restaurant's popular Mini Kabob Potatoes.
Microwave Eggplant with Scallion-Chile Crisp Oil
This microwave eggplant recipe from Andrea Nguyen requires none of the usual fuss of salting and straining the nightshade beforehand. Cooking a whole eggplant in the microwave effortlessly, evenly, and quickly cooks its flesh to soft, silky tenderness while preserving its antioxidant-rich skin. Cut into thick slices and drizzled with generous spoonfuls of flavorful sauce, microwave eggplant is an easy and delicious side dish that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Just be sure to poke holes all over the eggplant before microwaving it to prevent it from exploding. 
Roasted Eggplant Moussaka with Lamb
Rating: Unrated 4
Roasting eggplant until it's creamy and custardy makes it the perfect base for layering with a rich, meaty sauce in this take on moussaka, which is topped with a rich layer of ricotta and mozzarella cheese in place of béchamel sauce. Don't worry if the eggplant slices look dry when flipped; they will continue to release moisture during the remainder of the roasting time. Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou, Beverage Director at WM Restaurants in Sacramento, California, picked a perfect wine pairing for this cozy dish: "Go for a Cabernet Sauvignon and Agiorgitiko blend for this dish; the plum and cherry notes and warm spices in the wine balance the richness of the eggplant and lamb."
Eggplant Braciola
Isa Chandra Moskowitz, chef and owner of Modern Love in New York City, shared this recipe for a vegetarian braciola, where jammy, umami-laden planks of tamari-roasted eggplant encase a filling of lentils, walnuts, and spinach. The whole thing is served in a pool of marinara with islands of vegan ricotta. While the eggplant roasts meltingly tender, the filling retains a meaty and satisfying bite.
Spicy Eggplant and Zucchini Stir-Fry with Plant-Based Meat
Similar in texture to ground beef with a rich, meaty flavor, plant-based crumbles are a perfect addition to quick-cooking stir-fries. Here, the eggplant and zucchini cook quickly, absorbing plenty of flavor from the chile-garlic and soy sauces, without getting overly tender. Fresh cilantro adds an extra pop of freshness to the finished stir-fry; serve over brown or white rice for a fast and filling weeknight meal.
Grilled Eggplant with Summer Marinara
A mix of canned whole peeled tomatoes and tomato puree creates the perfect silky, but still chunky, texture in the sauce. Pomodori pellati tomatoes are hand-peeled, seeded, and processed with salt and basil at peak season, capturing their ripe, sweetly acidic flavor.

More Eggplant

Fairy Tale Eggplant with Crispy Shallots and Thai Dressing
Rating: Unrated 1
Chef Joe Ogrodnek (BNC class of 2014) pulls out all the stops with this next-level eggplant dish. First he seasons the eggplant and lets it sit before charring on the grill to draw out moisture and add flavor from the inside out. Then he adds plenty of crispy-crunchy texture to the silky grilled eggplant by stuffing each one with peanuts, fried shallots and garlic, fresh herbs, onions, and radishes before drizzling the punchy dressing on top. Delicious hot or room temperature, they’re perfect for your next summer cookout. Be sure to using hot water in the dressing to help dissolve the sweet, floral coconut palm sugar.Related: More Eggplant Recipes
Charred Eggplant with Burrata and Pomegranate-Walnut Relish
As a thirty-something eager to discover the exoticism of the land where East meets West, I visited Turkey on a trip that would irrevocably change the way I think about flavor. Somewhere between the grand bazaars of Istanbul and the bougainvillea-lined streets of Kas, a small seaside town on Turkey’s southwestern Mediterranean coast, I fell heavily in love with this country—and all of its eggplant dishes.The vegetarian food of Turkey is light and lively, resplendent with spice, and bursting with color. Vegetables are the headline act in Turkish meze, the small plates of appetizers shared at the beginning of every meal. There is cacik, ground cucumbers mixed with yogurt, garlic, and mint; dolma, grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice; zeytinyağlı taze fasulye, green beans cooked in tomato, olive oil, garlic, and onions; and muhammara, a spicy red pepper and walnut dip. But it’s the silky eggplant meze plates that shine brightest in my memory.Eggplant is central to Turkish cuisine and culture; there’s even a folkloric tale that tells of a time during Ottoman Istanbul when many houses burnt down due to unsuccessful attempts to fry eggplant. Today, fried eggplant remains a summertime staple. In fact, there are innumerable eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine, all beautifully spiced and irresistibly aromatic. A few of my favorites include patlican salatası, a smoky grilled eggplant similar to baba ghanoush; şakşuka, an eggplant and tomato stew; and imam bayildi, a famous dish of eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, onions, and garlic.This elegant salad is an emphatic nod to the celebratory eggplant dishes of Turkey. Velvety eggplant is paired with a tart-yet-earthy relish of toasted walnuts, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds. Toasting the walnuts brings out their full nutty, slightly bitter character, which plays well against the bright pomegranate seeds, which provide fresh bursts of juice and sweetness. The burrata brings unbridled decadence to this dish, providing an oozy, creamy backdrop for the eggplant and relish. If burrata is not your thing (although honestly, how could it not be?) or you can’t find any, there are many alternatives. You could opt for fresh mozzarella, a generous swipe of rich Greek yogurt or ricotta, a few flecks of goat cheese, or a dollop of tangy labneh. For those looking for a dairy-free option, you could enjoy it with cashew cream or, for a heartier alternative, serve on a bed of bulgur wheat or brown rice. When the weather is warm, grill your eggplant for an even deeper smoky flavor.A Note about Eggplants: Eggplant, or aubergine as it is known in England and Europe, is a member of the nightshade family that also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Many home cooks ask about how to choose the best eggplants, since they range so much in size and skin color. Generally, choose eggplants with smooth, shiny skin that are uniform in color and heavy for their size. Test for ripeness by lightly pressing a finger against the skin—if it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. Smaller eggplants tend to have fewer seeds and are, hence, less bitter. A green stem is a good indicator that an eggplant is ripe.
Rating: 5 stars 1

Proust had madeleines; Paula Wolfert has eggplants. Her love of nightshades was seeded in her childhood, and this is her best guess at her grandmother’s recipe for a Balkan eggplant spread she often made when Paula was growing up. Tangy and only faintly garlicky, it’s an ideal accompaniment to just about anything: grilled skewered meats (like the sausages that follow), grilled fish or vegetables, or spread on bread in a turkey or tofu sandwich. —Emily Kaiser ThelinExcerpted from Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life  Slideshow: More Eggplant Recipes