Eggplant Parmesan, it’s time for a reboot. People love you, but you’re too high-maintenance. While it’s fine to spend time with you on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, weeknights call for delicious food in minimal time. This flatbread combines the best of both words: simple yet incredibly flavorful. It’s eggplant Parmesan perfection on your table in less than 30 minutes. Read more
Tomatoes? Check. Corn and cucumber? Double check. The next time you overdo it at the farmers market, you know what to do: Let’s get some salad up in here!
Cherry Tomatoes: Cherry Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Basil and garlic elicit their savory side, but these little tomatoes, tossed in buttermilk-sour cream dressing, also know how to sweet-talk.
Just a few minutes of scorching heat will transform any farmers market find into charred, perfectly smoky bliss.
Grilled Ratatouille Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
A swirl of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and rings of red bell pepper and red onion — combined with olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh basil — turn this dish into a colorful, barbecue-perfect side salad. Read more
I’m an Italian girl at heart. Only half by birth, but 100 percent when it comes to food. Take eggplant rollatini for example–a classic, baked Italian dish that boasts eggplant slices stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheese and then rolled up and smothered with tomato sauce and more cheese. Sometimes the eggplant slices are breaded and fried first (think rolled eggplant Parmesan). As you can imagine, it’s not the lightest dish on the menu. In fact, one serving can deliver up to 600 calories, 38 grams of fat and 900 mg of sodium. Ouch. But, there’s hope!
You certainly won’t come across these gorgeous gnarly varieties of eggplant in your local large chain grocery store. White, striped and even pumpkin-shaped — these oddly-shaped eggplants are mild and sweet and can be enjoyed in any eggplant recipe. They work especially well for roasting, grilling and other recipes where a perfect round shape isn’t necessary.
These eggplants go by names like Rosa Bianca and Pandora Striped; ask farmers at the market which varieties they’re growing.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »
I was vegetarian for about 16 years of my life. It was the lifestyle my parents were used to, so that was just the way they raised me. While I was vegetarian, I operated primarily on the Indian lentils-rice-vegetable diet. In other words, whatever my mother fed me was what I ate. Unfortunately, the one vegetable my mother hated was eggplant, so I went the majority of my childhood and young adult life unexposed to what I later realized was a truly fabulous vegetable. These babies are actually a vegetarian’s best friend. They are hearty, flavorful and actually filling on their own in a way that few other vegetables are. They are also currently in season. Take advantage of this tasty vegetable by trying it as a substitute for meat in some classic dishes – whether or not you are vegetarian, you won’t miss the meat with these healthy and flavorful recipes!
Love Chicken Parmesan? Make Eggplant Parmesan instead
This one may be the most obvious, but Robin’s version is lightened up and given a kick of chili pepper.
Craving a Ham and Cheese Tortilla? Try a Vegetable Tortilla instead
Eggplant, along with onions, tomatoes, zucchini and green bell pepper give this frittata loads of interesting texture and flavor.
Recipe: Vegetable Tortilla (above)
Grilled and Glazed
The char of the grill brings out the smoky sweetness of this veggie – perfect with savory and tangy hoisin sauce.
Recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Hoisin Eggplant (pictured above)
Eggplant is often relegated to two things: eggplant parmesan and ratatouille. Don’t get me wrong, I love both (and I’m sure I’ve blogged about and written recipes for both), but there’s much more to the beloved aubergine (French for the gorgeous purple vegetable).
Eggplant is a sponge and absorbs the flavors of anything it’s partnered with. It soaks up garlic, wine, tomatoes, herbs — you name it. It’s a chameleon in purple clothing. Nutritionally speaking, eggplant has loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. One phytonutrient, nasunin, is found in the purple skin and is a potent free-radical scavenger that protects cell membranes from damage.
Caponata is another popular dish featuring eggplant, so I’m not taking a giant leap when it comes to recipe development. BUT, it’s summer party time and caponata makes an excellent addition to your appetizer and h’ordeuvres assortment. My recipe boasts a thick and rich blend of eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes, capers and red wine vinegar. Right before serving, I fold in basil for a burst of fresh flavor. Traditional caponata is served with pine nuts sprinkled on top but I chose toasted slivered almonds for their sweetness – they pair perfectly with the tanginess of tomatoes, vinegar and capers.
My family originates from the Middle East so it’s traditional to find babaganoush alongside typical appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread, pickled vegetables and olives. Here are the basics to making a killer babaganoush.
Babaganoush is basically a pureed eggplant salad. It’s typically used as a condiment or dip for veggies and pita bread. Make babaganoush by selecting a shiny and firm eggplant that’s heavy for its size. Rev up your oven and roast it for about 30 to 40 minutes until the center is tender. Some recipes call for peeled and diced or sliced eggplant, while others tell you to bake it whole. The main goal is to get the inside of the eggplant soft enough so you can puree it.