Eggplants are packed with healthy fats and omega 3s, which makes the purple vegetable a great meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans alike. Since eggplants are currently at their seasonal peak, now's the time to stock up and try our 12 tastiest eggplant recipes.
Beyond the nearly 11 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per cup, eggplants are very low in sodium and have no cholesterol. They're also very high in fiber, iron, manganese, potassium and vitamins B6 and C, as well as magnesium, niacin, pantothenic acid and phosphorus.
Making more eggplant recipes full of the seasonal fall super veggie also can help boost your memory. Scientific studies found that eggplant's anthocyanin phytonutrient nasunin--an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer--is responsible for ensuring that brain cell membranes retain their lipids. Decreased lipids are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Excited to have more of this versatile veggie in your life? Here are 12 of our favorite eggplant recipes:
1. Grilled eggplant steaks: Slice Italian eggplant in 1/2-inch thick rounds. If you want your eggplant's texture to be meatier, toss each round in a pinch of kosher salt and let the excess moisture drain off for about 10 minutes. Wipe off any excess salt. Brush the eggplant rounds with melted coconut oil and season, to taste, with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Serve it as-is or top it with your favorite condiments and serve it like a burger on a crusty bun.
2. Eggplant boats: Cut Japanese eggplants (or small Italian eggplants) in half lengthwise and scoop out a bit of the center. Chop the scooped out eggplant and add diced tomatoes and onions seasoned to taste with basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bake in a covered baking dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, topping with a little Parmesan cheese in the last 5 minutes, if desired. Or you can try our Turkish stuffed eggplant recipe instead. It uses the same method but has a slightly different flavor profile.
3. Summer eggplant lasagna: The whole family will clamor over our customizable vegetarian lasagna eggplant recipe. Eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms highlight this summer lasagna and it's layered with yummy marinara and béchamel sauces.
4. Eggplant Parmesan soup: When it gets a little chillier, mix up our hearty eggplant parmesan soup. Tomato-basil pasta sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses join golden sauteed eggplant in this simple soup that's ready in less than 30 minutes.
5. Roasted summer vegetable tart: Among our most-requested eggplant recipes is this late summer blend. Featuring roasted zucchini, red bell pepper, tomato, garlic and eggplant nestled in phyllo dough and topped with fresh goat cheese, it's sure to please.
6. Ratatouille: It's tons of fun to say, and even more fun to taste. Plus, it's super easy to prepare. This traditional ratatouille recipe boasts eggplant, zucchini, tomato, red peppers, onions and garlic.
7. Eggplant tian: Reminiscent of--but delightfully different from--eggplant Parmesan, eggplant tian stands out with the addition of balsamic vinegar and the lack of heavy fried breading.
8. Sichuan eggplant: For a completely different combination of flavors than most eggplant recipes, experiment with Sichuan eggplant. It's a simple recipe that results in an intriguingly complex combination of flavors and textures.
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9. Eggplant rollatini: Thin slices of eggplant are browned to remove eggplant's natural bitterness and obtain a sweet flavor. The slices are then rolled around a cheesy filling and arranged in a baking dish like cannelloni. The entire dish is covered in tomato sauce and baked. Yum.
10. Grilled eggplant, tomato and goat cheese: Vegetarian and gluten-free, our delectable eggplant recipe is a must try. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar are among the flavor enhancers for the eggplant.
11. Baba ganouj: If you love hummus, you should certainly give its eggplant recipe cousin, baba ganouj, a try. It's nice and creamy and super healthy, too.
12. Eggplant hummus: If baba ganouj isn't quite enough like hummus for you, go for a blend of the two dishes with our eggplant hummus recipe.
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