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Eggplant?

Today they had beautiful eggplants for sale at an awesome price at Aldi, so I bought one. I've never eaten an eggplant. I've never even seen one served. lol.

I've heard you can pretty much do anything you would do with a zucchini with an eggplant. I am very interested in hearing how you like to use them! What would you recommend for my first eggplant experience? ^_^ cheers and smiles!

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  1. My favorite way to eat eggplant is to use it instead of lasagne noodles in any lasagne recipe. Red sauce, ricotta, mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella... I just slice it, leave the skins on.

    Or - my next favorite is Emeril's Moussaka with potatoes at the bottom. He goes kind of heavy with the oil, so I don't fry everything first, I bake them.

    26 Replies
    1. re: kitchengardengal

      Does you use chicken or beef when you make Emeril's a Moussaka? I looked up his recipe and noticed it calls for chicken while others call for beef. I myself am a dhicken fan, so I'm thinking that sounds good! lol

      1. re: AprilxJoy

        I'm not the OP, but it really has to be lamb, if you want authentic. If I couldn't get, or make my own, ground lamb, I wouldn't bother.

        BTW the recipe I finally settled on was found here, someone's grandmother's. But you have to start somewhere!

        1. re: coll

          Alrighty, lamb it will be then! I've never cooked lamb, simply because it's a bit pricey. I think I'll make a side with my eggplant tonight and then try the moussaka next week. Looking forward to it! Thank you :)

          1. re: AprilxJoy

            If you can get it already ground, it's the same to cook as ground beef. Just a lot more flavor.

          2. re: coll

            <<"...but it really has to be lamb, if you want authentic..">>

            Not really. It is a dish from the Poli that uses ground beef. Lamb is fine, so is pork (GASP!) and in the USA most everyone uses the ubiquitous beef.

            A blend of meat is nice. 2 parts beef and 1 part lamb. But "authentic" means nothing anyway.
            If 'authentic' is what you seek, forget the type of meat and focus on mousaka NEVER has any potatoes. Unless you just want a single pot dish that is filling. Potatoes in mousaka are a filler. (They do taste good absorbing all the oil and flavours though...)

            1. re: Gastronomos

              I'm getting away from beef lately, so that too. I don't think I'd like it as much as with beef, even my meatballs now are pork and veal only.

              1. re: coll

                <<"...as with beef, even my meatballs now are pork and veal only.">>

                what if I tell you that I agree. So much so that I now use mostly venison in place of beef and carefully sourced pork is most often found in my kitchen. lamb, of course, but that is usually for lamb dishes, like Lamb fricassee:

                 
                 
                 
                1. re: Gastronomos

                  My sister occasionally gives me some ground venison and elk, plus roasts, and I've made meatloaf and shepherds pie with both of them.

                  I'm lucky my local grocery always has ground lamb in stock though, although I have thrown some together with blade steaks in a pinch.

                  1. re: coll

                    I've been subbing turkey for beef quite a bit lately. It's so much healthier and tasty!

                  2. re: Gastronomos

                    That fricasse looks great. What is the name of that preparation and is that an egg lemon sauce?

                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                      Lamb fricassee is what it's called and it is in an 'avgolemono' sauce, egg lemon sauce.

                      Recipes abound, but it's simple and a favorite in our home.

                      Browned / Seared Lamb, and escarole or fresh artichoke hearts, simmered, seasoned with fresh dill weed and thickened with avgolemono = egg lemon sauce.

                      1. re: Gastronomos

                        Alright, thanks, I thought maybe there was a more specific term for the version you made. The internet tells me something interesting:

                        "The French term fricassee refers to meat cooked by a method somewhere between a sauté and a stew and served with a white sauce. It is a mystery how this term came to define a totally different thing in Greek cuisine. We Greeks call fricassee (φρικασέ) any meat or even fish, that is cooked with greens and thickened with avgolémono (egg and lemon) sauce."

                        source: http://cookmegreek.blogspot.com/2013/...

                        After looking at pictures on google, I think your preparation is exceptionally nice - the avgolemono looks like silk.

                        Apologies to the OP for hijacking the eggplant conversation.

                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                          <<"...meat cooked by a method somewhere between a sauté and a stew and served with a white sauce.">>

                          that's what it is in Greek. Lamb, sauteed / seared / browned all over, braised / stewed in white wine and water until tender and greens (or artichokes) and fresh dill weed added till tender and thicked with a 'white sauce'. In most instances, but not all, in Greece and abroad it is an avgolemono. It could be a lemon sauce, sans eggs, but the naming would be the problem as it would then be "a la Polita".

                          As for your internet link, it's ONE opinion. And I fail to see any avgolemono sauce in any of the pictures. (It looks watery like my MiL's - LOL)And probably why the author FAILS at "how this term came to define" ...Anything actually. I'm sure the food Tastes good, but it sure ain't avgolemono sauce for sure.
                          Greece is a large place with many islands and mountainous areas that offer regional cuisine beyond what is found in France or Italy. It's a basic, foundational cusine, not a refined or overorchestrated one. All French "mother sauces" have their origin in Greek Cuisine. And the one cusine that gave the original term "Mediterranean diet" it's merit.

                          Although it's not my exact recipe, one of my favourite Greek cooking blogs offers this recipe:

                          http://www.kalofagas.ca/2008/02/06/la...

                          1. re: Gastronomos

                            Ah I see. Thanks for setting the record straight!

                          2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                            i've never really had a fricassee with a white sauce

                    2. re: coll

                      I've made eggplant meatballs, they came out pretty good and depending, on the ingredients used, tasty.

                      1. re: treb

                        Eggplant Fritters (Melitzanokeftedes) are very tasty!

                         
                         
                        1. re: treb

                          Care to share how you did that? I experimented with trying to use a ground eggplant one time and never had much success, would like to hear how you made yours.

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            Don't know what Treb did, but I would shred rather than grind it. I use a mandoline to make a long julienne for CHOW's red pepper-eggplant-tomato sauce because it's a meatier mouth-feel than diced eggplant. I think a box shredder would be okay if you don't have a mandoline or a julienne blade for the food processor. Then to make a meatball, salt a little, which will collapse it somewhat. Then rinse and pat dry before combining with binder, eggs, onion, etc.

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Sure, medium dice the eggplant and blanch in boiling water for about 10 min. Cool and then squeeze liquid out using your hands. In a bowl add, depending on the amount of eggplant, 2 eggs, equal amounts of bread crumbs and some flour to bind, lots of grated parm, S&P, chopped parsley. Chill the mix for about 15 min. Just think of good ingredients that you would use with meatballs but, don't skimp on the flavors as eggplant can be pretty bland. Make golf ball sized rounds, roll in flour and fry them up. Taste good alone or add to a marinara sauce and simmer for about 30 mins.

                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                Interesting, thank you both Grey & Treb. I'll give your methods a try.

                      2. re: AprilxJoy

                        I use lamb or beef or a combo depending on what is readily available.

                        1. re: melpy

                          Good to know. Most of the recipes I saw used beef. In fact I didn't see any with lamb. It can be so hard to know what is authentic when you aren't familiar with a dish!

                          1. re: AprilxJoy

                            Since moussaka is Greek dish, it should be lamb. You can also make it vegetarian using mushrooms in place of meat. Not authentic but delicious - just saying :)

                            1. re: herby

                              <<"Since moussaka is Greek dish, it should be lamb.">>

                              Not really. It is a dish from the Poli that uses ground beef. Lamb is fine, so is pork (GASP!) and in the USA most everyone uses the ubiquitous beef.

                              A blend of meat is nice. 2 parts beef and 1 part lamb. But "authentic" means nothing anyway. If 'authentic' is what you seek, forget the type of meat and focus on mousaka NEVER has any potatoes. Unless you just want a single pot dish that is filling. Potatoes in mousaka are a filler. (They do taste good absorbing all the oil and flavours though...)

                      3. Eggplant itself doesn't have a lot of flavor. It does take up other flavors easily, so it's great in stews, braises or curries.

                        You can roast it, too, until very soft and make baba ganoush or serve as is Turkish style, cut in half with some garlicky tomato sauce and fresh yogurt.

                        There are amazing recipes out there for eggplant. It's one of my favorite veggies, but it can be tricky to bring out its good side. They're great grilled, too, but it takes a lot of practice to get it just right.

                        Let us know what you've decided to make.

                        1. There is more prep to using eggplant. After peeling and slicing, you want to salt them, both sides. Place on a couple of layers of paper towels, then top w/ paper towels. Place a heavy sheetpan over them and let it sit. I don't rinse the salt off but I know people who do. I love it breaded and pan fried but it absorbs a scary amount of oil. What I normally do is bread it lightly, spray and bake on a cookie sheet. I'm with kitchengardengal on favorite uses--either as lasagna noodles or moussaka.

                          1. A great gateway is to make them like chicken cutlet or veal milanese.

                            I prefer it peeled but you can eat the peel.

                            Peel.
                            Cut into 1/8-1/4 inch rounds.
                            Dredge in flour.
                            Dip in egg.
                            Dip in seasoned breadcrumbs.
                            Pan fry in a neutral oil.
                            Sprinkle with parm cheese and parsley.

                            Can serve as eggplant parm by adding sauce and cheese. You can stack and do a tower or layer and bake.

                            I am also a fan of Moussaka.

                            1. When eggplant is on sale (or in a few months, when I can pick it in my garden!) I have two go-tos that I prefer. First would be peel, slice thinly, bread and deep fry. I don't salt beforehand, don't find it necessary. But after frying, definitely give them a good sprinkle of kosher salt. At that point, you can eat them as is like an appetizer, layer them on a sandwich with some mayo, cheese and tomatoes, or make eggplant parmigiana for a heartier meal.

                              My other favorite, especially if I'm in the mood for healthy food, is to cut it in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a few herbs and spices of your choice. I like to go exotic, Middle Eastern style. Then put on a baking sheet and cook at 400 for about a half hour. Then you can scrape out the pulp and make a dip by adding a bit of yogurt and maybe some more finishing spices, like smoked paprika. In the summer, same deal but on the grill for a shorter time, until it starts to burn. Some pita bread and feta cheese and you have a meal fit for a king!

                              If you're having company or feel like spending the afternoon in the kitchen, moussaka is great once or twice a year. Funny, seems like all of us have the same basic favorites! But one I just started making is a Chinese recipe called Strange Eggplant Appetizer, a delicious starter for any meal. I have another stir fry dish I occasionally make with mostly eggplant too, so if you want to go that route let me know.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: coll

                                Just to add to the roasted suggestions - if you have a gas stove or are grilling, you can basically just poke some holes into the eggplant with a fork and roast it directly on the flame until the skin gets all charred and all the flesh is soft and gets to be a light brown color. Scrape of the skin/char and then mix the flesh with olive oil, garlic and some parsley (tahini optional).

                                Eggplant works very well with a good smoky flavor.

                                1. re: cresyd

                                  I like to almost burn it in the oven, so I know what you mean. I'm too lazy to stand there holding it over the flame of the burner though.

                                  I also almost always use smoked salt flakes and smoked paprika on this, that helps the flavor a lot.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    Yeah, does take a bit more time rotating the eggplant and keeping a closer eye on it - but it really does amazing things to the flavor.

                                    1. re: cresyd

                                      I hear that about tacos too, but me being me, I just microwave them.

                              2. Thank you all so much! I'm really tempted to make lasagna, but I think I will try the moussaka! I'm of work today and tomorrow, so I've got plenty of time. ^_^

                                1 Reply
                                1. Eggplant is great and very very versatile. Here are a few of my favorites.......I might repeat what has already been said but here it is anyway.

                                  Fried and breaded you can slice it thin stuff and roll it for a delicious eggplant rolentini. (always season your ricotta cheese!!)

                                  Slightly thicker slices and you can layer and bake with any number of things topped with a tomato sauce.

                                  You can use fried eggplant (cooled) and layer with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, some fresh basil leaves, drizzled balsamic reduction, DELICIOUS!!

                                  Grilled chicken breast, layered thin sliced egg plant, layered with roasted red pepper, topped with caramelized onions, finished with melted shredded mozzarella and balsamic reduction! (LOVE IT)

                                  Cut into small cubes, bread, fry and use it with summer tomatoes for a tomato salad.

                                  Slice into thick......say half inch slices, do the same with onion, place on the grill over medium heat, let grill for about 5-10 mins each side (the onion will wilt and start to turn translucent, the eggplants texture will soften significantly). Remove from grill once cooked evenly, cube the cooked eggplant, dice the onion, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, balsamic reduction, toss for a wonderful eggplant salad.

                                  Cube and add to a puttanesca sauce. It adds a welcome texture change to the olives and absorbs those strong flavors of the dish very well.

                                  I have also used it as a chicken alternative for a vegetarian version of chicken francaise. Delicious!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    Yum! Great suggestions here! Thanks!

                                  2. We usually steam eggplant, then dress it with spicy sauce Split a slender Asian eggplant into lengthwise quarters, then cut into 2-inch logs. Steam it in the basket of a rice cooker. While the eggplant is cooking, stir together 1 part soy sauce and 1 part rice vinegar, with minced garlic, red chile, cilantro and sugar to taste. Toss eggplant with dressing and serve over steamed rice.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                      I do an Asian eggplant slicing it vertically, grilling it and then brushing with a mixture of hoisin, sesame oil and soy.

                                    2. I know it's traditional to do the salt/press/rinse thing, but I've not done that in years, and I've not had problems with bitter eggplant (altho' much of what we eat I grow--Japanese eggplant, especially, so not sure if there's a difference there).

                                      Here's a very simple recipe, originally from a Weight Watcher book, that's really good as a side dish or as a filling for a sandwich:

                                      Eggplant - Tomato Casserole

                                      1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2" rounds
                                      2-3 onions, sliced
                                      4 cloves minced garlic
                                      1 Tbl sugar
                                      1 Tbl drained capers, chopped or whole
                                      1/4 c fresh basil
                                      3/4 tsp salt
                                      1/2 tsp black pepper
                                      1 lb tomatoes, diced 1/4 "
                                      1 Tbl olive oil
                                      1/4 c grated Parmesan
                                      oven to 450. Eggplant on oiled or sprayed baking trays for 15 min.
                                      Oil skillet, add onions, garlic, sugar, until soft. Remove from heat; add capers.
                                      Large baking dish: arrange baked eggplant with 2 Tbl basil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Top with onion mix. Add remaining basil & repeat s & p. Place tomato slices, overlapping. Drizzle w/ more olive oil, top with Parmesan.
                                      Bake about 25".

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: pine time

                                        I used to make something like that, a recipe I got from the local paper, and it had a creamy mushroom sauce in between the layers. It was sublime!

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Mushrooms and/or their sauce would be a terrific addition--thanks for the idea.

                                      2. I never had eggplant in my life (like you) and then I married into an Italian family and my MIL made eggplant and I was in love. I salt it, as another poster described; then I saute in as little olive oil as I can get away with (eggplant can absorb copious amounts of oil) and then layer between paper towels again to drain. If I am making 3 or 4 eggplants, I use the better part of an entire roll of paper towels.
                                        I don't like it breaded or floured. Just saute some onion in tomato sauce and layer~~ sauce ~~ eggplant ~~ pecorino romano (very important, I get at the Italian store) and repeat layers until all ingredients are used.
                                        cover and bake for an hour.

                                        Delicious hot or COLD (as in a sandwich made w/good Italian bread)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: laliz

                                          My Italian MIL taught me about cold eggplant sandwiches, they are arguably better than hot for some strange reason.

                                        2. lots of good suggestions here -

                                          Eggplant is a strange beast - versatile yet it has a distinct taste and texture - and can add an almost "meaty" smokiness to a vegetarian dish it pairs well with tomato, peppers, & zucchini and can compliment pasta or potatoes - - thinly sliced, battered and fried it makes a great snack but I like this simple gratin as an alternative to a heavier eggplant parm (which I love as well)

                                          http://adashofsugarandspice.wordpress...

                                          Eggplant also makes a great tapenade for dipping or spreading

                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                          Tiella is an interesting Italian alternative to moussaka the one in this link is really pretty

                                          http://www.italianfoodforever.com/200...

                                          1. This would be a good first time experience:

                                            http://www.kcet.org/living/food/the-p...

                                            The recipe above is easy and delicious. Perhaps a gateway recipe to continued eggplant wonderfulness!

                                            1. I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned ratatouille, which is one of my favorite dishes: a mixture of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic, cooked together into a wonderful stew of flavors. I'm partial to Julia Child's recipe myself, but there are zillions of others out there.

                                              Also, just wanted to give you kudos for being adventurous and open-minded enough to try something new, good for you!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: medrite

                                                River Cottage Veg has roasted ratatouille recipe that has become my favourite.

                                                1. re: medrite

                                                  You're right, I only seem to think of ratatouille in the dead of summer. Easy and delicious.

                                                2. There was also the eggplant on the waffle maker.

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/446954

                                                  1. I found a solution to the greasy fried eggplant -- bake instead like this. Heat oven to 450. Slice eggplant vertically, then dip in flour, shaking off excess, then beaten egg and then fresh breadcrumbs that have been mixed with salt, pepper, grated Parmigiano and enough olive oil so they're almost like wet sand. Pat the breadcrumbs in well and then lay on oiled cookie sheet and bake until brown and crunchy. The best.

                                                    1. One key to eggplant is to get a fresh one. An old eggplant will taste bitter which is why a lot of recipes call for salting & draining the eggplant before cooking. When buying eggplant look for the color of the stem. It should be bright green. The duller & browner it is, the older & more bitter the eggplant. Also, generally speaking, the bigger the eggplant, the seedier it is. I usually buy two smaller ones rather than one bigger one.

                                                        1. re: Sam D.

                                                          Try Ruth Spear's recipe. I make caponata annually in Sept./Oct. with fresh local veggies and put it up in sealed Mason jars so it ripens by the holidays.
                                                          CP

                                                        2. Always liked slices, breaded and fried till crispy & brown. Can turn into a pamdish with sauce and cheese.

                                                          Or Rattatouille... is that even CLOSE to the correct spelling?? I remember ingredients by EZPOT... eggplant, zukes. peppers, onions, & tomatoes. Always seems tastier the day after making.

                                                          1. I do find eggplant quite different from zucchini. The cut surfaces tend to absorb oil, and when cooked it gets very, very soft.

                                                            I mainly use the long skinny east Asian eggplants, which have very small seeds, and just need to be sliced.

                                                            Favourite preparations -

                                                            Thai chicken and eggplant green curry, with eggplant is cooked until soft and almost sauce like.

                                                            Middle eastern fried eggplant jam. Slices are fried in oil until golden, drained and cooled, chopped finely and drained some more. Then you saute some finely diced onion, add the eggplant mixture, salt, a bit of sugar, and cook a bit more, then take off the heat and add fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley. Serve as a dip or spread. Amazingly flavourful!

                                                            Baba ganouj, for a less labour intensive version of the above.

                                                            Chinese stirfried eggplant with basil. I don't do this at home very often because you do need to deep fry the eggplant first for best effect (keeps the shape and colour).

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                              Good ideas. I like the sound of that eggplant jam.

                                                              The skinny Asian eggplants are my favorite, too.

                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                It's amazing the shapes that eggplants come in. In Thailand they had these little golf ball sized green and white ones that could be used whole.

                                                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                  They're CALLED eggplant because of the small white ovoid ones.

                                                            2. Here's CHOW's feature on eggplant recipes. I vouch for the tomato sauce with red bell pepper. I prefer to punch it up by starting it with browning 4 ounces of finely-diced pancetta, and I like the texture of the eggplant best when it is julienned on the mandoline (peeling is unnecessary in this recipe, as is pre-salting).
                                                              http://www.chow.com/galleries/326/16-...

                                                              1. i think much of the bitterness has been bred out of commercial eggplants.

                                                                my b/f was not a fan, but loves it like this:

                                                                slice into 1/2" rounds
                                                                season generously with salt and dried thyme
                                                                brush with a thin layer of mayo
                                                                dust with grated parm or romano
                                                                bake at 400 til golden then flip to brown the other side

                                                                1. Cut in cubes, fry up, drain, add to a good marinara sauce and simmer, add pasta and parm.

                                                                  1. A common complaint about eggplant is its bitterness. What I do is quarter it, smother the fleshy part it in salt (wet the sides if necessary), and stick it in a colander for 20 minutes or so. You'll notice there'll be a whole bunch of brown liquid sucked out. Then you can wash the salt off and you have eggplant that's way less bitter. (I wonder if there's some way to use the bitter eggplant juice?)

                                                                    The other common complaint about eggplant is the goopy texture. I find as long as you keep the slices fairly thin you don't have that problem as much, especially if you pan-fry or barbecue them.

                                                                    As for recipe ideas, I really like these:
                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                    or using thin strips of eggplant instead of noodles to make a gluten-free lasagna.

                                                                    1. You don't need to peel them, there are lots of healthful pigments in the skin.

                                                                      1. You don't automatically need to salt them either, it depends on whether the recipe wants it.

                                                                        1. I saved these two to try this summer when I can get the new eggplant at the farm stands.

                                                                          Eggplant pesto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS9Mp...
                                                                          Pickled eggplant bruschetta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OVbs...

                                                                          1. I love eggplant in Greek Mousaka! Yasou!

                                                                            1. Prick eggplant, roast in oven, use the pulp for Baba Ganosh, an eggplant dip found in Middle Eastern cookery.

                                                                              1. I can vouch for the following recipe, which I no longer remember where it's from, but I've been whipping it up for eons now:

                                                                                Thai Braised Red Bell Pepper and Eggplant

                                                                                Large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
                                                                                Medium-size red bell pepper
                                                                                1 Tablespoon cornstarch
                                                                                2 teaspoons sugar
                                                                                Dash of crushed red pepper
                                                                                1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
                                                                                2 - 3 Tablespoons light soy sauce
                                                                                1 1/2 Tablespoons Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)
                                                                                1/4 cup peanut or canola oil

                                                                                1. Rinse eggplant and red bell pepper. Trim eggplant and cut into 3 x 1/2 x 1/2-inch thick strips. Halve bell pepper, core, seed, remove membranes, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

                                                                                2. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients except oil. Stir mixture until blended and set aside.

                                                                                3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add eggplant and pepper strips, and sauté, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to wilt, about 5 minutes.

                                                                                4. Stir cornstarch mixture to recombine and pour over vegetables, tossing until thoroughly combined. Note: you may need to add 1/4 cup water at this point, the cornstarch mixture will coat the bottom of the pan and burn if the eggplant has not released any water. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Remove from heat and keep covered and warm until ready to serve.

                                                                                Suggestion: While this is a side dish, it can be made into a main course with the addition of stir-fried pork or chicken strips. The cornstarch mixture should be increased in quantity if adding meat or additional vegetables.

                                                                                1. I've been ordering miso eggplant for years and finally started making it myself- very easy and not greasy. Best with the long thin japanese style eggplant:
                                                                                  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/ging...

                                                                                  1. All good suggestions so far and I'd like to add two more to the list:
                                                                                    (1) curried eggplant and (2) chicken and eggplant with garlic sauce.
                                                                                    Globe eggplants will work fine even though not completely traditional for #2.

                                                                                    1. i love:

                                                                                      eggplant parmagiana

                                                                                      eggplant and cheddar casserole made with ritz crackers and cream of mushroom soup and eggs to bind

                                                                                      eggplant fritters

                                                                                      eggplant rollups-- with a savory, cheesy stuffing

                                                                                      eggplant -- peeled and cubed in spaghetti sauce

                                                                                      eggplant, peeled and cubed and baked on a pizza

                                                                                      my mom would just cut up eggplant and boil it with a little salt. country food.

                                                                                      make french fry size pieces and dip in egg and seasoned flour and fry or bake

                                                                                      eggplant lasagne -- use thin slices like the noodle

                                                                                      lebanese baba ganoush, turkish eggplant dip, moroccan eggplant and onion dip

                                                                                      i love good ol' eggplant.

                                                                                      1. Cut the eggplant into ¼” rounds and salt it down as others have suggested. Arrange in a casserole and top with diced tomatoes, basil, jack and feta cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and starts to brown and you have a nice side dish.

                                                                                        My wife loves eggplant and she likes this dish. For me, it's kind of like tofu. It has a flavor of its' own, but its' biggest virtue is its' ability to absorb what ever flavors you cook it with.

                                                                                        1. Cooking Light has a recipe for eggplant bolognese that's actually really good.

                                                                                          1. Usually a good idea to press them to squeeze out extra water. Recent advances in breeding mean you get younger, sweeter, firmer ones than of yore. Almost anything you would do with veal, you can do with eggplant.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                              As I've conjectured previously, my supposition is that leaving what little moisture inside is a bonus. The breadcrumb crust holds it in and makes the slices so very moist and juicy.

                                                                                            2. I thought of this thread today.

                                                                                              I am currently salting/draining eggplant.

                                                                                              They are young and have few seeds, so why???

                                                                                              I want to use these as a pizza topping. Extra moisture can be a bear when baking a pie (soggy crust= ugh).

                                                                                              Sometimes it is not just about the "bitterness". As you work with the vegetable you'll kinda get a feel for when you need to pre salt/drain and when you do not.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                don't worry about the moisture on pizza.

                                                                                              2. Dry-fried eggplant. Good as a sandwich ingredient, too. Here's a link to Fuchia Dunlop's recipe, with comments: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2009/...

                                                                                                1. i just used an eggplant to "fill out" a vindaloo chicken curry. anytime you want to extend a dish without losing flavor and without adding hardly any calories and zero fat, but getting nice fiber…use eggplant.

                                                                                                  it is becoming the universal vegetable around here!