All About Eggplant

We made grilled eggplant at least once a week during the month of August. My blogger friend, Simona of Briciole, is hosting Fresh Produce of the Month event, and this month it is, you guessed it, eggplant. So, without further ado, here are all my submissions to the event:

How to: Rub the sliced eggplant with kosher salt and let them sweat on paper towels for an hour, turning once, to remove much of the moisture. Then rinse off the salt, pat dry, and brush with olive oil. Grill over medium high heat. I like to slice the eggplant in generous portions so it doesn’t shrivel up on the grill.

Grilled Skirt Steak
over Grilled Eggplant and Salsa Verde Black Beans
Cilantro Garnish

A year ago, I posted this black bean with salsa verde recipe. It comes from Nancy Silverton’s A Twist of the Wrist cookbook featuring very quick recipes that come from a can or a jar. The recipe is posted here. Last time I topped the beans with avocado, this time with grilled eggplant. Both excellent with skirt steak.

Salad of Grilled Eggplant and
Slow Roasted Tomato with Bûcheron
Dijon Vinaigrette

This is a simple salad but don’t let that fool you, it is loaded with flavors of the smokey eggplant, the concentrated roasted tomato, the tangy goat cheese, grilled bread, mixed lettuces, Jacques Pepin’s vinaigrette.
My nephew, Jett, helped make slow roasted tomatoes. I cut the roma tomatoes while he poured olive oil into the baking dish. Then he placed the tomatoes in the dish, sprinkled with kosher salt, a little sugar, and dried oregano, then drizzled more olive oil over the top. We slow roasted them at 250 for 2+ hours.

To finish, we topped the tomatoes with chopped parsely and minced garlic. I read about this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, it was adapted from Cafe Lago in Seattle.

Festonati Pasta, Grilled Eggplant, Homegrown Tomato
Topped with Grated Smoked Scamorza, Fresh Basil
Olive Oil, Garlic, Red Chile Flakes

Chunky grilled eggplant was perfectly paired with this uncommon garland-shaped pasta called festonati.  The festonati was tossed in olive oil heated with shaved garlic and red pepper flakes, then eggplant, chopped tomatoes and basil added. Finished with grated scamorza. I especially like this rustic pasta dish, all the components are bold and rough chopped.
Grilled Eggplant, Melting Scamorza
Homegrown Tomatoes, Fresh Basil
with Garlic Anchovy Oil

If you like smokey flavors, do try smoked scamorza paired with grilled eggplant. This aged mozzarella-style cheese is made from water buffalo milk.
To make the flavorful oil: Heat olive oil, add minced garlic, then anchovies. Stir until the anchovies dissolve. Remove from heat, add red pepper flakes, chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle over tomatoes and serve with crusty bread to dip in the flavored oil too. This makes a great side dish to grilled chicken.
Still craving eggplant? You might want to check out  Spaghetti with Eggplant Cream Sauce too. It comes in handy when fresh eggplant is not available.
My absolute favorite way to prepare eggplant is GRILLED! How about you?

23 thoughts on “All About Eggplant”

  1. I promise I’m not stalking you.. but I just made fried egg plant and was going to post this today too! 🙂
    I love it and you always prepare yours wonderfully!

    Also.. thank you for your thoughts towards my mom, she is in good spirits.. today is she and my dad’s 54 year anniversary! 🙂

  2. OOOh, I’m in eggplant heaven here! I couldn’t tell you which one is my favorite, cause I would very happily eat them all!

  3. I’m getting hungry looking at the salad.

    I usually fire-roast eggplants served cold with chopped tomatoes and ginger juice. Or simply fried dipped in soy sauce and lemon juice.

  4. Hi Laurie – I checked out your fried eggplant with gruyere! Yum! I will have time to leave comments this weekend.

    Hi Paz – every course except dessert. Hmmm…

    Hi Marie – Eggplant heaven. YAY!

    Hi Cynthia – let me know if you do.

    Hi Tom – thank you!

    Hi Oggi – I have to try with soy and lemon.

    Hi Mikki – thanks! I’m going to have to try some of these suggestions in the comments too.

    Hi Jessy – eggplant parm, I’m going to make that soon! Thanks for reminding me.

  5. Grilled eggplant is my favorite, too! I grow them in my garden so have them all summer. I tried freezing them but they get very “squishy.” Your pictures are wonderful!

  6. Hmmm.. I love the combination of basil, garlic and anchovy. Will have to try that next time! This dish sounds yummilicious! 🙂

  7. Definitely, grilled is my favorite. Though sometimes I pop in under the broiler which is really good too. And I’m a die-hard eggplant parm girl. It was my favorite as a kid, and it hasn’t changed.

  8. Every recipe looks better and better. I always buy eggplant and then forget about it. But with this recipes, chock full of flavor will do the trick and my eggplant will be put to good use.

  9. Really hard to pick a favourite here – goodness – they’re all so interesting. Who knew eggplant could be so versatile. The grilled eggplant and fire roasted tomatoes – hmm…ok, there’s my winner.

  10. Simona – my pleasure. It’s on its way to you. Love the theme.

    Mikky – you are so sweet to think of me, I am a bit shy in that area however…

    Then we are eggplant sisters, Maria!

    Welcome Candy – I am off to visit you…

    Oh yea Ning – that is one flavorful oil!

    Hi Susan – Jessy mentioned eggplant parm too, that is my next eggplant dish for sure.

    Hi MLV – thank you, just grill it and inspiration will come.

    Hi Giz – that was one tasty salad! Everyone agreed.

    You are always so nice, Sylvia – thank you so much.

  11. I love aubergines, wish I could grow them in my own garden someday 🙂
    Everything looks delicious and it’s always great to have a little helper around 😀

  12. i used to hate eggplant as a child when my mom would use it in lasagna. but now I absolutely love it! The last dish is something I’d eat just about everyday !!

    Thanks for the compliments on the Emeril episode, by the way. IT was so much fun working with him! And yeah, I made that pork into skewers for the viewing party!

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