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Eggplant recipes for someone who isn't thrilled about eggplant

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A sweet co-worker gave me some Asian eggplants from her garden -- probably because I've been inflicting zucchini on her for a month.   ;)  I used her recipe the last time that she gave me an eggplant -- saute fresh garlic, add eggplant and stir fry a bit, then add a chopped tomato and something she calls "mint."  (I think it may be Thai basil.  Co-worker is Vietnamese.)  I added a zucchini to the eggplant.  The zucchini was better.  The eggplant seemed to have a tough skin.

Any suggestions?  Can you make baba ganosh (SP?) with long, skinny eggplants?

I have come to have a belated appreciation for eggplant. Now I really like them!

One of my favorite ways is to peel them with a vegetable peeler, slice them into 1/2" to 3/4"slices, brush them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then grill them. They can be eaten alone or served on top of salad with a mild goat cheese. An idea I stole from Carrabba's as they used to feature Insalata Fiorucci on their menu. Yum.  :)

Something my family loves is to peel them, slice them into 1/2" to 3/4" thick slices, dredge in egg wash and bread with Zatarain's and fry in an inch or so of oil. Delicious on their own or I assemble those with a favorite tomato sauce and provolone slices for a mock Eggplant Parmigiana. Layer everything in a casserole and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. My favorite sauce is Bertolli's Fire Roasted tomato sauce with Cab Sav. Just the right of amount of spicy kick to compliment the breading:

Also, this is the breading we use (gluten-free BTW). You can get small boxes at Walmart but this giant tub is about $6 at Sam's Club and we also use it as our go-to for our fish frys.:

ETA: a missing step

Team HoundMom:
Slice off each end, cut lengthwise into a few pieces, brush with olive oil, and stick 'em on the barbeque until soft.  Sprinkle a bit of Italian seasoning on them for flavour if you want.

Or: cut into circles and make an X in each circle.  Combine bread crumbs, honey, and chopped fresh or dried parsley in a bowl, then dip each piece of eggplant into egg then into the bread crumbs mixture.  Press the mixture into the X.  Saute in a pan with oil on the stove until browned.

My newly discovered love is oven-roasted vegetables. Cut into about 1 inch cubes, slice up an onion (red or yellow) into thin strips; toss together in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; spread on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake for 30ish minutes at 450 F, stirring half way, until the big veggies are tender.

You can follow the exact same method, except put them on foil on a preheated grill and cook with the lid closed and the flame opposite the veggies for about the same amount of time. The smaller you cut them, the quicker they roast, and if you leave lots of room between them on the pan, they brown up nicely on the outside. If you crowd them, they still cook and taste fantastic, they just don't get as crispy on the outside.

So far I've made brussels sprouts, carrots, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini following this method, just varying the cooking times slightly based on the size and hardness of the veggies in question. I usually serve them with pasta mixed with olive oil and more garlic.

I am similarly not one for eggplant. I like it best when it no longer resembles itself - so, I like baba ghanoush quite a lot, which is a middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip with lots of garlic. You roast it over an open flame (as on a BBQ) until the skin is totally charred, which gives it a nice smoky flavor, I'm sure you can find lots of recipes online, I don't have a particular one I like. I also love eggplant Parmesan, when it is sliced very thin and then fried to within an inch of its life, firming up its texture quite a bit. I can also imagine liking it in a richly flavored Indian curry with lots of coconut milk and other vegetables as well.


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