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Sep 14, 2009 11:43 AM

Tiny Eggplants - Any Specific Ideas?

I bought some tiny eggplants at the Farmer's Market this weekend - about the length of my thumb, but a bit fatter. I'm cooking duck breasts tonight, with a roasted tomatillo sauce. Any suggestions about special treatment for these eggplant (eggplants?)? I've never cooked with them before.

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  1. My favorite simple treatment for small eggplants is slice lengthwise (maybe just in half or in three slices if they are a bit thicker than your thumb), toss with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Marinate a half-hour or so, then grill them.

      1. Are those not Thai eggplants? When I cook them whole in curries they turn out deliciously creamy, almost like a custard.

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          1. Slice them by making two slits in them so that they open into 4 pieces but remain intact with the stem. Salt them and strain out the bitters, you can also soak them in salted water for this. Now make some kind of sauce, maybe like a tomato ricotta or tomato with herbs or something, adding more oil to the sauce than you normally would. When you see the oil rising to the top of the sauce because the moisture has evaporated from the tomatos, add in your eggplants. Stir them well, making sure the sauce gets in between the slits. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until the eggplant is done. Beware that the part near the stem needs to be fully cooked and it will take longer than the quartered wedges. So towards the end, only stir very gently so that the cooked wedges don't fall off the stem. If you need to, sprinkle water on them during cooking if the tomato sauce is looking too dry so as not to burn. But the water should dry up at the end of cooking, leaving you with beautiful eggplants in a seasoned clinging tomato glaze, almost as if they were stuffed with the glaze. When eating those small partially quartered eggplants, sucking the stems is the best part.