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What to do with small eggplants?

My husband came home from the Farmers' Market this morning with some lovely little eggplants. They're slender like the Japanese kind, but much smaller and a lighter shade of purple - kind of lavender with creamy streaks. Normally we brush eggplant with oil and grill them, but we've done a lot of that since summer began, and I'd love to try something different.

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  1. Make eggplant caviar- just a mixture of minced roasted eggplant, minced tomato, some olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. There are many variations you could probably find on this board.

    1. these are lovely in thai curries

      1. Slice in half lengthwise and roast in the oven with miso sauce on top (I add sugar and red pepper, and water for the right consistency).

        1. You can make Imam Baldi, stuffed eggplant. Cut off the stem bit, turn the eggplant on its side and cut a cross, deep but not all the way through. Saute a bit in olive oil until the skin wrinkles a bit and they open up.

          Carmelize some onions, add a little garlic, some tomato and tomato paste, salt, pepper and a generous amount of parsley. Cook a bit longer and taste for seasoning. Stuff the eggplants, top with a sprinkling of parmesan and bake at 350 for about half an hour, or until eggplants are cooked through.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Merryworld

            How about eggplant parmesan and meatballs or sausage.

            1. re: bigjimbray

              babaganoush - lots or recipes available, but I roast mine whole till soft, scoop out the middles from the skin (use gloves if you are allergic which I am) then process with tahini, lemon juice, garlic,a little olive oil, salt and pepper. wonderful with hot pita.

              1. re: smartie

                Make a batch of ratatouille -- you'll need onions, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and just enough olive oil to saute them all, then simmer slowly. It's wonderful.

                1. re: homecook1

                  I make a big vat of ratatouille on the weekend and use throughout the week for omelet, frittata, quiche entrees. Especially good with roasted meat like lamb, chicken, steak, etc.

          2. eggplant rollatine
            cubed like breadcrumbs and pan saute with olive oil, can be used in salad, cold pasta dishes on grilled pizza
            cut into small rounds and oven roast with sliced tomatoes then serve with bread.

            1. Scoop them out and stuff with a mixture of eggplant, sweet Italian sausage (fennel optional), olive oil, and chopped Roma tomatoes. Add spices according to your preference -- we like basil and garlic. Bake on a lightly greased pan. Yum!

              1. with nice small ones like that, I make several slices from end to ALMOST end (leaving the cap end in tact), and gently press on the side, to get the eggplant to "fan". Then I quick stir-fry, with a miso, oyster, or soy/mirin base. Also you can tempura batter them this way. Or even a quick crispy breadcrumb mix.

                1. cut in half, slit the flesh. stuff the slits with sliced garlic. salt generously. roast till soft. scoop out the flesh, mix with cous cous, mint, pine nuts and golden raisins. top with feta cheese and run under the broiler till the cheese bubbles.

                  small eggplants like this make a nice presentation when left as close to the original form as possible.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Wow. This sounds divine. And I'd only have to heat up the oven for a few minutes.
                    Great idea~I bet this would work with bulghur as well.
                    Hmmm.....the brain is working.....
                    Thanks, p.j.

                  2. slice thinly lengthwise, sautee briefly until soft & golden, and make mini-eggplant parmesans. layer eggplant, tomato sauce, fresh mozzerella, parmesan...maybe 2 layers per stack. then bake at 400 for maybe 6-8 minutes. delicious & very easy.

                    1. By now they are gone, but I halved them and scooped mine out. In a sautee pan, fry the cubed flesh of the eggplant, garlic and onion in some olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add fresh diced tomatoes sautee a little more until everything is wilted and soft. If the skin is tender, no prebaking is needed. Stuff the eggplants with the mixture (I always add a chiffonade of fresh basil) and top with parmesan cheese. Bake at 375; I just watch, don't time. These are great for picnics, summer buffets and are great at room temperature.