Turn your eggplant hate to love with these 13 mouthwatering recipes



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Thanks to its texture, which is described as 'slimy' by some, and sometimes bitter flavor, eggplant is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. After taking a look at the Vegan Eggplant Crunchburger, we decided to see what else, besides the go-to eggplant parm, you can make with eggplant, and boy did we score. With everything from eggplant pizzas and curry to caponata and jerky (yes, jerky), these 13 recipes may just convert lifelong eggplant haters to eggplant lovers.


1. Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas

Kalyn's Kitchen 

Is there gluten in that pizza? Not this one. Kalyn's Kitchen makes this pizza on a base of roasted eggplant, following a recipe from the great Julia Child. It's ingenious really, once you look at it — not to mention when you take that first bite. And it's not just gluten-free! Those of you who are really serious about sticking to those resolutions will appreciate having some delicious — and gloriously low-carb — pizza.


2. Thai Basil Eggplant

Vegetarian Gastronomy 

The key to this recipe developed by Vegetarian Gastronomy is the hoisin sauce. Unfortunately the preferred brand does contain gluten, so if you're a celiac, you will have to use a GF brand such as Sun-Luck Hoisin Sauce. If gluten isn't an issue, however, do try this gorgeous dish with some  Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce and let us know what you think!


3. Skinny Eggplant Rollatini

Not Enough Cinnamon 

Not Enough Cinnamon's recipe had us at "skinny." We love healthier versions of decadent favorites, and this eggplant rollatini is flavorful and filling without overloading you with heavy pasta. With all that cheesy goodness, you won't even realize you're being healthy.


4. Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant

Photo © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013 

Delightful-Delicious-Delovely whips up a spicy eggplant dish that looks store-bought. Just look at it. I dare say even people who consider eggplant gross and slimy would be tempted to take at least one bite (and very likely hoover the rest into their bellies).


5. Curried Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Cardamom and Coconut Milk

The Bojon Gourmet 

The Bojon Gourmet adapted this curry dish for the Asian varieties of eggplant from Nigel Slater's Tender. "It has all the spice of a traditional baingan bartha [a South Asian dish that bears a resemblance to baba ghanoush, but with the feel of a hearty stew." SOLD!


6. Baba Ghanoush

Jessica in the Kitchen 

Speaking of baba ghanoush, check out this recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen. Because eggplant can taste a bit bitter, the recipe recommends adding a touch of sweetness with a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup, honey or, even better, blended dates (serious yums). The results are a mouthwatering, creamy eggplant dip that will have you licking the bowl clean.


7. Turkish Eggplant Casserole

Feed Me Phoebe 

After reading Feed Me Phoebe's views on fat and olive oil, we have to say we fell a little in love. Even if you disagree, however, we think you'll love this recipe. We certainly do! Baked with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs and served room temperature in a lasagna-like slab, it looks decadently gorgeous. And remember, if you think anything in the recipe requires adjusting, it's your kitchen, so go for it. Ain't no one stopping or judging you!


8. Charred Eggplant with Chile Sauce & Tahini

Credit: Todd Coleman for Saveur 

Saveur scores with chef Erez Komarovsky's charred eggplant recipe. It's recommended that you choose a young eggplant that hasn't yet developed seeds — which is what can make an eggplant taste bitter.


9. Ratatouille

Martha Stewart 

We'd be remiss to do a roundup of delicious eggplant recipes and leave out ratatouille. It's a hearty country dish from the Provence region of France, so get that olive oil ready. Our favorite version? Why this one from the awesome Martha Stewart, of course!


10. Sicilian Caponata

The Italian Dish 

If you're tired of the same old, same old — with absolutely no offense to eggplant parmesan — then here's a dish you'll certainly want to try. Caponata can be served hot, which is nice, but traditionally, it's served at room temperature. Rather than cubing and frying the eggplant, The Italian Dish roasts it instead.


11. Eggplant Jerky

Eileen's Everybody Eats Right 

Yes, for the vegetarian that misses bacon with bacon served on a bed of bacon with a side of bacon and topped with bacon bits, we give you Eileen's Everybody Eats Right's "bacon-ish, jerky-ish" snack. She's not claiming it tastes like the real thing, but it's sweet, salty, rich and "meaty." It's as close as you'll probably get. Eileen adds that if you don’t have a food dehydrator you can dry the eggplant using the lowest setting on your oven — this recipe has instructions for both methods.


12. North African eggplant tagine

Blue Apron 

Blue Apron's takes this Berber stew, named for the wide, cone-topped, earthenware pot in which it is traditionally simmered over a bed of coals, onto the stovetop, and the results are magnificent. Made with chickpeas, Medjool dates, mint and Holland eggplant — an especially lush and tender variety that’s perfect for stews — this spiced, balanced dish is bursting with the flavors of North Africa.


13. Sichuan-Style Braised Eggplant With Pickled Chilies and Garlic

Serious Eats 

Serious Eats does it again with this hearty and flavorful dish. Smoky eggplant is stir-fried until tender, then tossed with a quick sauce flavored with chilies, black vinegar, sugar, and ginger, and garlic. Serious Eats recommends soaking the eggplant in salted water. This allows some of its cell structure to break down, which subsequently allows it to soften more efficiently in the hot wok.