3 Recipes Using Summer’s Most Versatile Fruit


Eggplant gets such a bad rap. Lots of people think it’s bitter because it certainly can be when it’s out of season and has traveled far to get to your table.

But eggplant can also be sweet, flavorful, meaty, and so versatile. What other vegetable is so at home in India, Thai, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Italian, and French, and Spanish cooking? Not many that I can think of. Plus it’s high in fiber, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. What’s not to like?

Summer is peak season for eggplant of all types, so we’ve scoured the web for a variety of different types of recipes to suit whatever mood you’re in.

I love a good baba ghanoush dip with a smoky, roasted or grilled flavor. Here’s a twist on that classic dish from Eating Well magazine that includes feta and sounds absolutely wonderful. Bring on the pita chips.

From Provence, Saveur magazine offers this recipe for ratatouille. Ratatouille combines so much of what’s good about summer and is perfect as a light entrée, a side dish, an appetizer – or for breakfast with eggs. It can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature and travels exceptionally well for outdoor summer eating.

One of my favorite dishes in Thai restaurants is spicy sautéed eggplant with chilies and Thai basil. Here’s an approximation from Vegetarian Times. Not being a vegetarian, I’d definitely substitute fish sauce for the soy sauce, as its unique flavor is one of the hallmarks of Thai cuisine. I’d also use fresh red chilies instead of flakes. But that’s just me.

Image: Specialkrb

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.