Help me learn to love eggplant

Several neighbors and friends I know grow and love eggplant. A friend gave me three seedlings to plant and I expect to be awash in the things at some point. One is a dark purple type like I normally see in grocery stores, called Syrian, one is a long light purple/pinkish one (Chinese type?) called Ping Tung and a the third is a medium pink/white striped one called Pandora Striped Rose.

But I have never really been a huge fan of the eggplant, so I’m looking for new ideas. They’re fine in ratatouille or a thai curry, but generally I find them to be the tofu of vegetables - not a lot of flavor and just an unexceptional component of the things I eat them in. Actually, I like tofu better.

Since so many people seem to like them, I’d love to hear any personal favorites for how you prepare eggplant. I’m vegan, so recipes that work within that limitation would be appreciated, but I’m open to trying to adapt something as long as eggplant is the star of the dish.

Can I learn to love eggplant?

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Baba Ganoush
Makes a great dip


Slice it and bread with panko, cook in olive oil
Melts in yr mouth
Addcheese n red sauce. Makes a parm that is excellent.


Ah, Baba Ganoush, I’d forgotten that was eggplant! I’ll definitely try that.

And I’ll try the panko breaded with some tomato sauce. Probably with a little whole wheat pasta.

Thanks, now I’m already looking forward to them coming in.

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Eggplant involtini! Too bad my wife hates eggplant in all forms, I could eat this every week! This recipe originally from Cooks Illustrated


How about pretending they are tomatoes and having “fried purple eggplant”?

Or, how about “eggplant parmesan”?

Nasu miso/miso-glazed eggplant.

Tagine is soooo goood! It’s good with chicken added, too, for us meat-eaters. I like raisins or zante currants in tagine, too, so I’d probably throw some of those in.

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I cut them in chunks and dip them in a light batter and deep fry. Great for appetizers followed by onion rings next as long as I have my deep fryer going.

One word of advise is to use young eggplant. Large ones or those picked late in the season can be very seedy which makes them bitter.
If lots of seeds, I soak cut up eggplant briefly in saltwater and rinse off before cooking with it. This seems to take out some of the bitterness.

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Baingan bharta; and I second the Baba Ganoush vote.
If your neighbors are smoking meats, have them put some eggplants in the smoker and then try one (or both) of these.

hated eggplant…then tried it again in eggplant parm…I won’t eat it in anything else, but I love it that way…probably because it’s fried…