Posts Tagged ‘eggplant’



As I’ve said more than a few times in my ramblings, Steve, my husband, does not much care for eggplant so I always have to hide it under other flavors and textures. For a tasty side dish to serve along with a flank steak marinated in olive oil and rosemary, I combined the eggplant with zucchini and tomato to make a sort-of caponata. Thought I made enough to serve throughout the week, but our guests liked it so much there was nothing left to stretch out meals during the week. Here’s what I did:


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more to taste

1 sweet onion, peeled and diced

1 head fresh green garlic, chopped (had just picked a bunch up at the greenmarket, but a couple of

cloves of garlic would work just as well)


2 small eggplant, trimmed and diced

2 large zucchini, trimmed and diced

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice

A handful of basil leaves

About 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Chili flakes as many or as few as you want – I tend to be heavy-handed

Ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened a bit. Stir in the eggplant and continue to cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant has absorbed some of the oil and begun to soften. Add the zucchini and tomatoes along with the basil and oregano. Season with chile flakes and pepper, cover, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook at a bare simmer for about an hour or until the vegetables are soft and the flavors are nicely blended. You may want to add more olive oil along the way; I like the fruitiness of it so often add more than I probably should.

Remove from the heat and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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My family does not really love eggplant very much so I am always trying to think of ways to make it inviting.  My newest trick works beautifully with baby eggplant.  I trim the stems and then cut them in half, lengthwise.  I toss the cut eggplant in olive oil, whatever fresh herb I have on hand (or none when I don’t), and salt and pepper.  I grill them, cut side down first, in my trusty stovetop grill pan (Scanpan again, of course – loving their nonstick surface) for a few minutes or until just barely cooked through.  I serve the warm grilled eggplant drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette or syrupy aged balsamic (when I have it on hand) with a glass of Prosecco or an Aperol spritzer.  Every single one of those little guys is gone before the drinks are.



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We had this magnificent eggplant with a stem end that looked almost ceramic but it had been around a bit too long.  I threw it on the grill, whole, waiting to decide what to do.  Aha!  My old favorite babaganoosh – as I say and spell it.  However, this time, I also cleaned out the fridge and found a container with 3 grilled carrots, 2 grilled Italian peppers, and 1 lonely grilled onion which I thought might just work with the grilled eggplant.  And, you know what, it was the best mix we had ever tasted.  The grilled carrots added a sweetness that had never been present in other variations.  Following is my version of the traditional recipe, but just as I always do, you can add and subtract to make your own personalized mix.  Traditionally, the eggplant flesh is chopped, but I just throw the whole mess into the food processor and do a couple of quick turns to blend.

1 large or 2 small eggplant, either grilled or roasted
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (don’t worry, if you don’t have, use fresh)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cayenne pepper or smoked paprika to taste – this is not traditional, but either one adds a little pizzazz
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and/or fresh mint

Scrape the flesh from the eggplant into a bowl, chopping it into small chunks.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and mash together.  Stir in the parsley or mint or both.  You can add more or less of the lemon juice, garlic, and/or olive oil to make it your own.  Serve with toasted pita bread or crackers.

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