A Little Love for Eggplant: 5 Ideas

I’ve said a lot lately that I’m looking to shake up my eating to get firmly back on the weight loss path, and I think side dishes are key to that. If I want to not lean on couscous and flavored rice so much, I need good alternatives.

Eggplant is going to be one of those alternatives for me. I’ve had eggplant twice this week, in two slightly different ways, and I loved it! You can make that #6 on the list of foods I’m bringing back into rotation, I guess.

How am I thinking of cooking the eggplant? Here are five ideas:

  1. Grilled. The eggplant was grilled for one of the times I had it this week, just sliced thinly (with the skin on, I believe), sprinkled with salt, pepper and oil. I’ve grilled eggplant before, following the instructions of Steve Raichlen in his book How to Grill, and I realize that I’ve missed it.
  2. Marinated and sautéed. The other time I had eggplant this week, it was peeled rounds marinated in balsamic vinegar and, I’m guessing, sautéed (though it was mixed in with other grilled vegetables, so who knows). I’d cook it with red onion.
  3. With tomatoes or tomato sauce. We know from eggplant parmesan that eggplant and tomatoes play nicely together. But for a lighter alternative, I’d love to experiment with cutting out the breading and frying and just pair these two ingredients. I could always still top it with mozzarella or provolone.
  4. Indian style. Now that I think about it, I had eggplant about two weeks ago, a heat-and-eat pouch of baingan bartha. But I need the real deal! I will investigate making it on my own.
  5. West African style. This preparation differs from the others I’ve mentioned because it involves meat and is more of an entrée thing. I’m going to put my husband to work on this one, making a sauce of pureed eggplant and spices to which meat is added. I’ve had his version once before; I think it’s time to sample it again!

What are some of your favorite ways to prepare eggplant? Do tell!

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4 thoughts on “A Little Love for Eggplant: 5 Ideas

  1. Thus far I’ve not been very adventurous with eggplant. No reason, just haven’t made the opportunity to do so. But I have prepared eggplant in Parmigiana. It is still a favorite way to have it.

    I have always loved eggplant, but a few years ago I had a very bad experience with an eggplant sandwich. The skin was left on and it was tough, and worse, the sandwich was so bitter that it turned me off for a long time. I am still waiting to recuperate from that experience. Sigh!

    Do let us know how your eggplant meals all turn out. 🙂

    • Oh no! I’m sorry to hear about your bad eggplant experience. I’ve been on the fence about keeping the skin or not; I think I will take it off the next time I grill it because you’re right, it can get tough.

      I’ve heard it said that there are “male” and “female” eggplants, and one is less bitter than the other, but I’m not sure which. Hopefully I got the right ones with the eggplants I bought yesterday!

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