Our 29 Favorite Eggplant Recipes
Baharat-Spiced Eggplant with Hazelnuts, Cherries and Tarragon
F&W Best New Chefs 2017 Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, of L.A.’s Kismet, brine eggplant before coating it in a fragrant spice mix and pan-frying. They create a magical plate of that eggplant along with pickled onions, sweet cherries, toasted hazelnuts, creamy lebneh and herbs.
Cheesy Eggplant Rollatini
Grilling the eggplant for this simple, hearty dish lends both flavor and texture. Make sure the eggplant slices are completely tender before they come off the grill; they won't soften more in the oven.
Eggplant, Pesto, and Goat-Cheese Pizza
Tangy goat cheese, sharp Parmesan, tender sautéed eggplant, and bold pesto cover a mouth-watering pizza. This recipe makes a hearty fourteen-inch pizza; you be the judge whether it serves two or four.
Crisp Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant Bread Gratin
Jerry Traunfeld created this gorgeous gratin to highlight ripe, juicy tomatoes and other late-summer vegetables, which moisten the crispy bread crust as they bake. "Don't be afraid to lift a corner with a spatula and check to see whether the bread is toasted," he says. "When it's browned, it's done."
Eggplant Ravioli with Gewürztraminer and Bacon
Jean-Georges Vongerichten transforms Gewürztraminer, a fruity white wine, into a light syrup. After swirling it with extra-virgin olive oil, basil and bacon, he drizzles the dressing over eggplant ravioli. It would also be superb on a green salad.
Sardinian Stuffed Eggplant
Chef Efisio Farris says that his mother used only eggplants from the first pick of the season (le primizie) for this dish because of their supple texture and earthy-sweet flavor without a hint of bitterness. But if you don't have the primizie option, you should seek out firm, heavy eggplants with smooth, evenly colored skin. Check for ripeness by pressing them lightly; if this leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ready to use.
Roasted Eggplant with Tomato Dressing
"This recipe is a very traditional one, and this is a common ingredient combination," says chef, Ferit Sarper. He makes the dish especially appealing by serving the eggplant whole and then topping it with an incredibly light tomato vinaigrette.
Eggplant Goat-Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Tarragon Sauce
Golden eggplant slices sandwich tangy, melting cheese, all set off by a fast tomato sauce flavored with the unusually complementary tarragon.
Eggplant Parmesan with Crisp Bread Crumb Topping
This eggplant Parmesan is all it should be: delicate slices of fried eggplant nestled in a bright, tangy tomato sauce, layered with gooey fresh mozzarella. The best part is the exceptionally crisp topping, made with dry bread crumbs.
Joël Robuchon ingeniously softens spongy eggplant by steaming it instead of sautéing it in oil. "Usually, cooked eggplant absorbs so much oil and becomes full of fat," he says.
Grilled Eggplant Salad with Walnuts
Terrific as a salad or a spread for flatbread, adzhapsandali is like a Georgian version of ratatouille. Grilling the eggplant gives the dish a luscious, smoky flavor.
Grilled Eggplant Risotto
For this supersimple risotto, chef Jonathan Justus grills eggplant until smoky and charred, then blends the creamy flesh into the cooked rice. Just before serving, he sprinkles on sumac, a tart Middle Eastern spice made from the dried berry.
Grilled Asian Eggplant with Ginger Sauce
Marcia Kiesel likes dressing up tender Asian eggplant with a vibrant fresh-ginger sauce that would also be wonderful with steamed fish or poached chicken.
Eggplant Involtini with Grilled Ratatouille
Faux cheeses made with nuts are key to vegan cooking. To stuff these involtini, chef Sean Baker of Gather re-creates the flavor of ricotta by combining pureed raw cashews with nutritional yeast, which has a very savory, almost cheese-like flavor and is available at well-stocked specialty and natural food stores.
Sicily's caponata is a tangy eggplant salad served as a side dish or appetizer. This version adds bits of velvety avocado, full of monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol.
Japanese Spiced Eggplant
To enhance eggplant's savoriness, chef Allen Susser of Chef Allen's in Aventura, Florida (an F&W Best New Chef 1991), glazes it with soy sauce and mirin and sprinkles it with togarashi, a tangerine-scented Japanese spice blend of chiles, sesame seeds and dried seaweed.
Roasted Eggplant and Lentil Soup
Eggplant is a good source of vitamins A and C and is low in calories. It's one of the vegetables Clark Frasier likes to serve during colder months, in hearty dishes such as this soup. "As chefs, we tend to think first of root vegetables, but eggplants are also robust in winter."
Silky Burmese-Style Eggplant
Naomi Duguid came across this dish at a guest house in Mrauk U, a beautiful ancient capital in far western Burma. The custardy eggplant was served as part of a meal alongside rice, salads and curries.
Baba Ghanouj on Pita
The creamy Middle Eastern eggplant dip called baba ghanouj is traditionally served with warm pita and an assortment of salads. Here, we top the pita with the dip and a mixture of romaine, tomato, and cucumber for an extraordinarily tasty meal.
Garlicky Eggplant Salad with Tomato Sauce
Like many Moroccan salads, this super-silky and intensely flavored version of ratatouille is made from spiced or sweetened cooked vegetables that are mashed rather than cut into pieces. Like Italian antipasti, Moroccan salads are often served as an appetizer.
Open-Face Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
For this smoky version of eggplant Parmesan, Sam Calagione and Marnie Old looked for a beer and a wine that could stand up to the grilled eggplant without overwhelming it. Sam opted for Guinness. "People often think dark beers are heavy in body, alcohol and calories," he said. "I like that Guinness has roasty flavors but is still relatively light." Marnie chose a cherry-tinged Rioja mellowed by several years of aging.
Eggplant, Lentil, and Bulgur Salad
It's two salads in one: a hearty, spicy mixture of lentils and eggplant and a crisp, cool combination of cucumber and tomato. Each is fine by itself, but they're even better when served together.
Iraqi Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Pitas
This sweet and tangy Middle Eastern stew, with falling-apart-tender lamb, is one of wordsmith and perfect host Jesse Sheidlower's favorites. He found it in Nawal Nasrallah's Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine. "It's a fantastic though little-known cookbook," Sheidlower says. "It's incredibly extensive and provides a lot of cultural and historical background. And it's good to keep in mind that all of this Iraqi culture and history is getting destroyed."
Berenjenas con Miel (Fried Eggplant with Honey)
Fried eggplant and honey is a classic combination served across Andalusia, especially in Córdoba. This version is the one José Andrés has on the menu at his Washington, DC, restaurant Jaleo.
Baskets of lightly toasted bread slices and little mustard-yellow terra-cotta bowls filled with caponatina (a finely chopped version of the Sicilian sweet-and-sour eggplant dish caponata) often appear on the tables at Il Bacco Felice soon after guests are seated.
Eggplant, Pear, and Pecorino Salad
There’s a saying in Italy that one should never tell a farmer just how good his cheese and pears taste together (presumably because if he knew, he would hoard them all). In this salad, Opera 02 chef Silvana Baranzoni adds eggplant and walnuts to that beloved duo.
Eggplant and Porcini “Meatballs” in Tomato Sauce
While writing her book, The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, Domenica Marchetti unearthed this classic Sicilian recipe. To make the dish more savory, she adds dried porcini mushrooms to the eggplant, and the porcini soaking liquid to the tomato sauce.
Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese
This filling vegetarian pasta is perfect for a cold winter night.