eggplant recipe

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

Around my house we just call it Baba. Baba Ghanoush is a spread or dip make from roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. I often think of it as a first cousin to hummus, since the ingredients are so similar. I serve it as an appetizer with pita bread and fresh veggies. With eggplants still abundant at my local farm markets, Baba is being made more often now, before the season ends.

A vegan relative has been visiting from out of town and I made a fresh batch for her. I also made pita bread- posted the recipe a couple of days ago. It is such a classic combination. Also served some sweet pepper with it. If you haven’t even made Baba ghanoush, I encourage you to try it. It really isn’t hard to make at all. I do remove the seeds from the eggplant after roasting. I find it is bitter if I leave them in. So here is the recipe. Enjoy!!!

Baba Ghanoush

1 large eggplant

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 t. salt

1/4 c. tahini

1/4 c. lemon juice

1/4 c. olive oil

Pierce eggplant with a fork several times and place in a baking dish. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. When cool enough to handle cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Discard seeds. Scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor. Pulse several times until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process a few seconds more. Serve chilled with pita bread.

Baked Eggplant

Baked Eggplant, with and without pepperoni

I love eggplant prepared in a lot of different ways. I must say, this preparation is one of my favorites. I think it is because it reminds me of my parents. My mother used to bread and bake eggplant this way. My dad loved it- and he was not a big eggplant fan. I guess pretty much anything tastes better when breaded. She would top the eggplant with some cheese and sometimes with some marinara sauce.

I had picked up an enormous eggplant at a local produce market. I decided to bake it. I cut the eggplant in slices, but you could also cut them in strips and serve like French fries, if you prefer.

One of the problems  with eggplant is about how much oil it will absorb when cooking. If you fry these slices in a skillet- they will soak up the oil like a sponge. I prefer to bake the eggplant, with a drizzle of oil. They come out crispy, but not greasy.

They make a nice side dish or even main dish. I topped mine with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.   Mozzarella was what my mom used. I often use Parmesan cheese or a Pecorino Romano.

Baked Eggplant

1 large eggplant or 2 medium

flour- about 1/2 cup

salt and pepper

2 eggs

1/4 c. water

1 T. Tuscan seasoning* recipe follows or use another blend of Italian herbs

1 t. garlic powder

about 1 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 c. oil

1/2 – 1c. marinara sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

pepperoni, optional

Peel and slice eggplant. Place flour in bag and season with salt and pepper generously. Prepare egg wash by mixing the eggs with the water, pepper, a little more salt, Tuscan seasoning and garlic powder. Place in a shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. One slice at a time, place in bag with flour and shake to coat , dip eggplant in egg wash, then in the bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Drizzle with the oil and bake for about 25 minutes. Turn slices after 15 minutes and continue baking until eggplant slices are golden brown and tender. Spread some marinara on top, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes longer. Serve as is, or with extra marinara sauce. Serves 3-4.

*Tuscan Seasoning

½ c. dried basil

½ c. dried oregano

½ c. dried marjoram

3 T. dried minced onion

2 T. dried minced garlic

2 T. dried rosemary

2 T. dried parsley

1 t. crushed red pepper

The very large eggplant
eggplant going back in the oven to melt the cheese

Eggplant “Fries”

Eggplant Fries

This dish started because I had an eggplant that needed to be used. I love eggplant, but none of my usual recipes were doing it for me. I decided to turn my eggplant into fries. I wasn’t in the mood to actually fry them, so I thought I would try to bake them and see if I could get a result I liked. They came out really good. Plenty crispy.

I shared a picture of my fries and a number of people asked for the recipe. I decided to write out a more detailed version than I posted. People also asked about other ways to make them. I only baked mine, so I can’t give absolute answers, but I can give you a pretty educated guess. Yes, these would work well in an air fryer or convection oven. You’d have to use a lower temp and keep an eye on them for cooking time. Yes, they can be deep fried. I have had deep fried eggplant at restaurants. They were pretty darn good. I have also pan fried them in the past. Just add about 1/2 inch of oil to a large skillet and fry them.

So here is a more detailed recipe. I know I say medium eggplant. I hate to be vague, but that is the best I could do.

Enjoy!!

Eggplant “Fries”

1 medium eggplant

Salt

½ c. rice flour, but you could use wheat flour or cornstarch

½ c. Oil

Preheat oven to 450F. Peel the eggplant, if you like. You don’t have to. Slice and crosscut into “fry” sized pieces. They are going to shrink some in cooking, so allow for the shrinkage. Lightly salt the eggplant and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The salt will draw some of the water out of the eggplant, making it easier for the flour to stick. Place the eggplant slices in a large bowl. Add the flour and toss until coated. Drizzle the oil on a large baking sheet. Add the eggplant slices, leaving room between them. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the slices over. Return to oven and bake until golden brown- don’t burn them, but pretty dark brown if you want more crunch. Mine were in the oven for about 25 minutes total. Remove to platter with paper towels on it to drain. Toss with more salt, if needed and serve.   

Eggplant “Fries”

Eggplant “Fries”

This dish started because I had an eggplant that needed to be used. I love eggplant, but none of my usual recipes were doing it for me. I decided to turn my eggplant into fries. I wasn’t in the mood to actually fry them, so I thought I would try to bake them and see if I could get a result I liked. They came out really good. Plenty crispy.

I shared a picture of my fries and a number of people asked for the recipe. I decided to write out a more detailed version than I posted. People also asked about other ways to make them. I only baked mine, so I can’t give absolute answers, but I can give you a pretty educated guess. Yes, these would work well in an air fryer or convection oven. You’d have to use a lower temp and keep an eye on them for cooking time. Yes, they can be deep fried. I have had deep fried eggplant at restaurants. They were pretty darn good.

So here is a more detailed recipe. I know I say medium eggplant. I hate to be vague, but that is the best I could do.

Enjoy!!

Eggplant “Fries”

1 medium eggplant

Salt

½ c. Flour

½ c. Oil

Preheat oven to 450F. Peel the eggplant, if you like. You don’t have to. Slice and crosscut into “fry” sized pieces. They are going to shrink some in cooking, so allow for the shrinkage. Lightly salt the eggplant and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The salt will draw some of the water out of the eggplant, making it easier for the flour to stick. Place the eggplant slices in a large bowl. Add the flour and toss until coated. Drizzle the oil on a large baking sheet. Add the eggplant slices, leaving room between them. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the slices over. Return to oven and bake until golden brown- don’t burn them, but pretty dark brown if you want more crunch. Mine were in the oven for about 25 minutes total. Remove to platter with paper towels on it to drain. Toss with more salt, if needed and serve.   

Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille Salad

I had all the ingredients for ratatouille, a lovely French vegetable stew. I had eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, onions and fresh herbs. But I was in the mood for a salad. I decided to use the same ingredients that I would use for the ratatouille, but transform them into a salad. It came out quite nice. I could see serving it on toasted bread, or using it like a dip. It reminded me of caponata, in a way.

I decided to cook the eggplant and onion, but leave the rest of the vegetables raw. I also decided to leave the skin on the eggplant. I did not salt the eggplant beforehand. The eggplant was fresh and tender- I saw no need for peeling or salting, but you could do both, if you like.

I always have roasted garlic on hand. I make a big batch and store in smaller containers in the freezer, until needed. The directions for roasting garlic follow the recipe. If you don’t have roasted garlic, you could add several cloves of garlic, peeled and minced. I invited a neighbor to try it- and she ended up taking the rest home.

Ratatouille Salad

1 medium eggplant, cubed. I had about 3 cups of eggplant.

3 T. oil

½ t. salt

1 medium onion, sliced

2 T. roasted garlic*

½ c. red wine vinegar

1 med. zucchini, cut in matchstick pieces, about 3 cups

1 sweet pepper, seeded and diced

1½ c. diced fresh tomato, seeded, if desired

Dressing:

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

1/3 c. olive oil

2-3 T. honey, or to suit your taste

2 T. chopped parsley

1 t. chopped basil

2 t. thyme leaves

Hot sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

In skillet, heat oil and saute eggplant until tender and just starting to brown. Season with salt. Remove from skillet and set in a mixing bowl. In same skillet, saute onion and cook until wilted and tender. Add the garlic and vinegar to the skillet and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. While liquid is cooking down, place remaining veggies in mixing bowl with the eggplant. When most of the liquid is cooked off, place onion in mixing bowl with eggplant mixture.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk to combine. Pour over the eggplant mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 6-8 as a side.

*Once you have roasted garlic on hand for cooking, you will wonder how you did without it before. I get large amounts of freshly peeled cloves. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a roasting pan and pour a generous amount of olive oil over the garlic. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 until garlic is tender and golden. This will take at least 30 minutes, but up to 40 minutes. It depends on how much garlic you are roasting. Be careful not to burn it. Once cooled, place the garlic cloves, and oil, in small freezer containers. Store in freezer.

Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille Salad

I had all the ingredients for ratatouille, a lovely French vegetable stew. I had eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, onions and fresh herbs. But I was in the mood for a salad. I decided to use the same ingredients that I would use for the ratatouille, but transform them into a salad. It came out quite nice. I could see serving it on toasted bread, or using it like a dip. It reminded me of caponata, in a way.

I decided to cook the eggplant and onion, but leave the rest of the vegetables raw. I also decided to leave the skin on the eggplant. I did not salt the eggplant beforehand. The eggplant was fresh and tender- I saw no need for peeling or salting, but you could do both, if you like.

I always have roasted garlic on hand. I make a big batch and store in smaller containers in the freezer, until needed. The directions for roasting garlic follow the recipe. If you don’t have roasted garlic, you could add several cloves of garlic, peeled and minced. I invited a neighbor to try it- and she ended up taking the rest home.

Ratatouille Salad

1 medium eggplant, cubed. I had about 3 cups of eggplant.

3 T. oil

½ t. salt

1 medium onion, sliced

2 T. roasted garlic*

½ c. red wine vinegar

1 med. zucchini, cut in matchstick pieces, about 3 cups

1 sweet pepper, seeded and diced

1½ c. diced fresh tomato, seeded, if desired

Dressing:

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

1/3 c. olive oil

2-3 T. honey, or to suit your taste

2 T. chopped parsley

1 t. chopped basil

2 t. thyme leaves

Hot sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

In skillet, heat oil and saute eggplant until tender and just starting to brown. Season with salt. Remove from skillet and set in a mixing bowl. In same skillet, saute onion and cook until wilted and tender. Add the garlic and vinegar to the skillet and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. While liquid is cooking down, place remaining veggies in mixing bowl with the eggplant. When most of the liquid is cooked off, place onion in mixing bowl with eggplant mixture.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk to combine. Pour over the eggplant mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 6-8 as a side.

*Once you have roasted garlic on hand for cooking, you will wonder how you did without it before. I get large amounts of freshly peeled cloves. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a roasting pan and pour a generous amount of olive oil over the garlic. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 until garlic is tender and golden. This will take at least 30 minutes, but up to 40 minutes. It depends on how much garlic you are roasting. Be careful not to burn it. Once cooled, place the garlic cloves, and oil, in small freezer containers. Store in freezer.

Baked Eggplant

Baked Eggplant

Baked Eggplant

I got the most beautiful eggplant at Blue Pike Farm the other day. I decided to just make some baked breaded eggplant slices. They are easy to make and taste great. Eggplant is notorious for soaking up oil when cooking. By baking, rather than frying, you can keep them from getting oily but still be crunchy. I peeled my eggplant, but you can leave the skins on, if you prefer. The recipe is pretty simple. I sliced the peeled eggplant about 1-inch thick and salted them lightly. I let them sit for a bout 30 minutes and then drained them, rinsed them off and patted them dry. I made an egg wash with eggs, a little water, salt, pepper, paprika, dried basil and dried oregano. I dipped the slices in the egg wash and then in bread crumbs. After breading the slices I placed them on a baking sheet and drizzled them with oil. I baked them in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once or until tender. To serve them I had some fresh tomato sauce and some Parmesan cheese. So yummy.

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