1 Food 5 Ways: Eggplant
Rich, complex, earthy, and full-bodied: like a fine wine, eggplant has a flavor profile that pairs well with just about anything. These summer-inspired recipes take advantage of eggplant’s subtle taste and show what it can bring to the texture of a dish, from adding creaminess to a spicy dip and “meatiness” to an herb-laced stew, to serving as an edible bowl for a savory millet-and-lentil stuffing.
Pick of the Crop
PURPLE GLOBE OR AMERICAN EGGPLANTS are glossy and can be oval or pear-shaped. Smaller ones are sometimes called Italian eggplants. Choose eggplants that are heavy for their size, with glossy skin and no soft spots. Avoid larger, duller-skinned specimens, which tend to be overmature and seedier inside.
EGG-SHAPED WHITE EGGPLANTS probably gave the veggie its American name. Indian eggplants, also egg-shaped, have red-purple skins. To show off their shape, cook them in halves.
ELONGATED ASIAN EGGPLANTS are slender, thin-skinned, and quick-cooking. They include the dark purple Japanese, the milder light purple Chinese, and the pale-green and purple-tinged Filipino.
ROUND THAI EGGPLANTS, sometimes called apple eggplants, are golf ball-sized and have pale green skin (often with yellow or white striations). Quarter or halve before cooking.July/August 2013 p.66
get the recipes
Eggplant Stir-Fry with Green Beans and Cashews
They may not get star billing on many restaurant menus, but eggplant stir-fries are Asian favorites. Serve this hearty, saucy dish over steamed ricemore
Stuffed Eggplant with Lentils and Millet
Double or triple the recipe for stuffed eggplants and freeze the extras for fast, filling weeknight meals.more
Eggplant Stacks with Tomato-Chipotle Salsa
Choose cylindrical eggplants for this recipe so they are easy to cut into uniform slices.more
Roasted Eggplant with Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, and Herbs
This is a good recipe for showing off the curvaceous shapes of white or Thai eggplants. Globe or Asian eggplants will also work.more
Balkan Grilled Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip
Scads of grilled red peppers give this dip, also known as ajvar (pronounced eye-var), a bright, reddish-orange hue.more
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