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Jeruba's avatar

Ok, eggplant guys: what do you have with it?

Asked by Jeruba (48711points) October 30th, 2010

This recent question gave me an appetite for eggplant. Grilling sounded good.

Now the eggplant is on the counter, I’m responsible for dinner, and I have no idea what to have with it. What in the world goes with grilled eggplant? or eggplant anything that isn’t a standalone dish?

Salivating and waiting . . .

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36 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Mousaka, I’m told, is a nice dish. In fact, it looks like it would be absolutely delicious, if it weren’t for all the eggplant in it.

In my house eggplants sits on the counter until it kind of caves in and then we put it in the compost pile.

filmfann's avatar

I suppose it depends on how the eggplant is prepared. I like mine fried, with garlic. A good side dish there would be chinese sweet and sour pork.

lillycoyote's avatar

I really like breaded eggplant, fried. Slice the eggplant, dredge in a milk and egg mixture then coat in seasoned bread crumbs, store bought or made yourself, then fried in butter. I also sometimes coat them in seasoned, dry pancake mix. It gives it a lighter, sort of more delicate coating than using breadcrumbs and absorbs less of the fat. And sometimes I use half butter half canola oil to fry. Or sometimes just oil depends on my mood.

If you don’t want to fry, here’s a recipe for them baked.

marinelife's avatar

Lamb and eggplant go together well. Grilled eggplant with roasted leg of lamb or broiled lamb chops.

tedibear's avatar

When I grill my eggplant, I do so by brushing it with olive oil, dried basil and minced garlic. Along with the eggplant I grill mushrooms and green peppers. (If you like yellow squash or zucchini, that may be good as well.) I cook some pasta – rotini or penne – and cut some small tomatoes in half. Once the vegetable grilling is done, I cut up the eggplant and the peppers, toss it in the pasta with the mushrooms and tomatoes and call it dinner. You can add a little more olive oil if you find that you need it.

A side note: I slice my eggplant and soak it in salt water for at least an hour. I find that it removes any bitter taste that you can get, particularly with a larger eggplant.

rooeytoo's avatar

I like mine in a ratatouille along with every other veg I find in the fridge, thow in a can of tomatoes, garlic, capers, a hit of balsamic vinegar and cover it all with one of those frozen pie crusts, and there you are, ratatouille tart, a stand alone dish with eggplant as the base.

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Kardamom's avatar

Oh Gosh, I wish you hadn’t asked this question. I am a vegetarian and eggplant is the ONLY vegetable that I don’t like. And invariably this is what non-vegetarians cook up thinking that we will be so happy. It always reminds me of biting into a piece of wet cardboard. Ugh!

It’s kind of like serving mutton to a group of carnivores when they were hoping for steak or roast beef.

I have eaten eggplant grilled, fried, layered into lasagne, pickled and steamed. So far I haven’t found a decent way to prepare it.

That being said, I realize that there are plenty of people who like eggplant (and a few that probably love mutton) so I will say that the only way I have been able to choke it down was when I ate it prepared as an Indian curry at a really good Indian buffet in Los Angeles many years ago.

But in the spirit of usefulness, and being one Fluther’s resident vegetarians, I feel the obligation to assist.

It just dawned on me that I actually like Baba Ganoush, and I like it a lot! Here’s a recipe from Epicurious that sounds very easy to make—enjoy

Kardamom's avatar

Oh, I forgot to say what to serve with it. Anything Middle Eastern would be good, such as chicken shawarma wraps
or a big Greek salad (with chicken if you like) or Ful Mudammas scroll down near the bottom if you want the quicker version, or Spanakopita

Hope some of this sounds good : )

jaytkay's avatar

Asparagus, sauteed a bit but still crunchy.

anartist's avatar

I have had or made eggplant chili, eggplant lasagna, ratatouille, but those are main dishes.

If I grilled eggplant I would alson grill peppers [various colored bells, big red poblanos] and zucchini, and onions and have that as a huge side dish served with any meat or fish thing grilled or any Tex-Mex or Southwestern main dish or a Spanish, Italian or Greek main dish.

Grilled eggplant and portobello mushroom sandwiches. grilled/sauteed w/ garlic-butter-wine-parmesan

You can always make baba ganouj—easy and yummy. Still works if you have waited a little too long trying to decide what to do with the eggplant.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Eggplant parm with pasta. Or I have the greatest recipe for eggplant lasagna, but you can’t have it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I second the broiled lamb!
Cut the eggplant into lengthwise strips and grill along with quartered onions and multi color bell peppers.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Kardamom – that sounds like homous made with eggplant instead of chick peas! I don’t know if I would like that, but I might give it a try, would make a good dip for veg I bet.

Kardamom's avatar

@rooeytoo Yes, baba ganoush is similar to hummus (in that it uses tahini and it’s a smooth, cool or room temperature dip) but it has a distinctive smoky flavor. I pretty much hate eggplant in all of the ways I’ve ever eaten it, but I love baba ganoush. It’s great with pita chips or spread on warm flatbread. At the restaurant where I like to get it, they serve it with a small bowl of various Greek olives and pickled turnips.

If you don’t want to try making it at home, you can usually get it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or any Middle Eastern market or restaurant. Give it a taste, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Kardamom, thanks for the suggestion, I think I will hunt for some! Cheers

Deja_vu's avatar

@wundayatta I love Mousaka with lots and lots of eggplant!

cookieman's avatar

with grilled eggplant
• grilled lamb with thyme
• ground pork meatballs with spinach and garlic

JLeslie's avatar

Many of the answers are regarding eggplant dishes, but if I understand the question correctly you want to know what to make along side grilled eggplant as @cprevite answered. If so, my answers are:

1. Pasta. Can be a baked pasta with some ricotta and mozerella and sauce, or a linguine or spaghetti with mariniara. Another choice is Orzo, it is like a rice pasta, with a little olive oil, salt, and mushrooms (you can season with basil and oregano if you want it more Italian).

2. Use the eggplant as a side dish to almost any meat.

3. Salad with grilled eggplant, roasted red or yellow peppers and a tangy Italian dressing. A simple short cut is to buy roasted peppers in a jar, and use the oil the peppers come in as part of a homemade dressing with your favorite balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar. That salad with a piece of steak sounds good to me, or you can just keep it vegetarian.

Jeruba's avatar

You understood my question correctly as written, @JLeslie, and those are great answers. In light of other answers, I’ve mentally rephrased the question so that all the answers fit. I postponed cooking the eggplant tonight in favor of further research. This may take more than one operation. So all additional suggestions are welcome. Thank you, @all!

JLeslie's avatar

In that case I love moussaka and eggplant parm (they are a little time consuming to make).

YARNLADY's avatar

I stab it with a fork and microwave it for a few minutes to soften it, then thinly slice, and use the slices exactly as I would sliced cheese, on sandwiches.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY and just microwaving it like that keeps it from going brown? Can you keep the slices in the fridge for a few days?

jaytkay's avatar


Wait, wait. That is the whole recipe? Stab your eggplant, nuke it, eat it? That is all?

Haleth's avatar

I saute it in olive oil and put it on a sandwich with roasted red peppers, avocado, chipotle mayo, and lettuce. It tastes great on focaccia or on a baguette.

lillycoyote's avatar

@JLeslie ROFLMAO! We all , well maybe not all of us I guess, but a lot of us misread, and entirely misunderstood @Jeruba‘s question this whole time??????

It certainly looks like we did indeed.

LOL. Epic fluther fail.

YARNLADY's avatar

@jaytkay Yes, they can be cooked and eaten like potatoes as well. You can also cube them and eat fresh, or dipped in your favorite dipping sauce.
@JLeslie I haven’t tried keeping them in the refrigerator but I don’t see why not.

Jeruba's avatar

@lillycoyote, no, no, it’s great—all of it. You are all broadening my eggplantal horizons. Forget what I asked. I asked the wrong question. The answers are right and the question is wrong.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Jeruba That’s the attitude! When life gives you lemons make lemonade and when life gives you eggplants make all of the meals and recipes described above. :-)

YARNLADY's avatar

Now go over to chickpeas and see what you can do there.

rooeytoo's avatar

@YARNLADY – thanks for the plug but chick peas apparently just don’t have much appeal. I thought with all the vegetarians in here they would be a staple because of their high protein but I guess not!

JLeslie's avatar

I love chickpeas.

About the salad I mentioned in my first post, I don’t think I was clear that it is not an eggplant salad; but rather, a salad with eggplant in it. Could be an iceberg or romaine based salad, or a mixed greens type of thing depending on your preference, also can add olives and tomatoes along with the peppers. When I say salad my assumption is a lettuce based meal, but the word can be used so many ways I thought I should clairfy.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My ex’s mom used to make what I referred to as, Delicious Gas Mash from eggplant tiny cubed, chickpeas, thinly sliced red/orange/yellow bell peppers and garlic, all roasted together in olive oil, black pepper and a little tomato paste. It made a gorgeous spread you could spoon onto a dinner plate for meats and bread.

lillycoyote's avatar

@rooeytoo I actually like chick peas but the only ever do two things with them. 1. I add them to salads. Just rinse them and put them on salads right from the can or 2. make hummus. That’s about it Maybe I should have answered this on the chickpea thread. Oh well.

rooeytoo's avatar

@lilycoyote – thanks, the answers are dribbling in on the chick pea question, another good one from @Kardamom just came in! Lots of good cooks in Fluther!

Kardamom's avatar

@JLeslie and @lillycoyote I also love chickpeas! I just posted a falafel-like recipe over on the chickpea link, but I just found a really terrific sounding recipe that I’m posting here for you, and hopefully Jeruba will like it too. It’s for spicy, crispy chickpeas that you roast on a cookie sheet in the oven!

And while I was Fluthering around, I remembered another eggplant dish that I actually like. It’s eggplant (or brinjal) chutney

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