Eggplant Madness — La folie des aubergines

Eggplants

If I could have bought more, I would have. This is how fascinated I am now by the many varieties of aubergine/eggplant on the market (Aubergine for us the French and the English, Eggplant for the rest of the English speaking community). White, pink, dark or light purple; striped like a zebra or plain; Thai, Indian, Italian, Sicilian or Chinese; round, teardrop-shaped or oval-elongated. Aren’t they beautiful? Not forgetting to mention the lovely curvy shapes they can describe. When I was growing up, I only knew one sort. Things have surely changed.

I chose these ones because of their color and funky elegant shapes. Without thinking much, I dropped them in my basket because I knew that I would be dying to photograph them before even considering how I was going to cook them. Eggplants are not vegetables that keep for a long time. But as beautiful as they are, I now only wished that they kept their attractive, sexy color once cooked. Quel dommage, non ? ( a shame, don’t you think?)

So, what are your favorite ways to cook eggplants? And, do you belong to those who love them or those who hate them? Because truth being said, eggplant does trigger these kinds of debate, doesn’t it?

Me?

I prepared a vegetable mille-feuille and a chicken tajine, amongst other things. As much as I love them, I realized that I had not yet presented many recipes. So come back to see, if you like aubergines, that is!


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Posted in General | 55 Comments

55 comments

  1. I am proud to say that I have converted my boyfriend from an aubergine (or eggplant, he’s canadian) hater to lover! My very favourite would have to be baba ganoush, but I’m also a huge fan of just slicing them, brushing them with sundried tomato oil, a sprinkle of herbs and straight on the grill.

  2. Et dire que cela fait seulement quelques mois que j’aime l’aubergine! Je me suis cependant bien rattrapée depuis!
    Une recette que j’ai adoré: des pâtes avec des dés d’aubergines et des tomates concassées.
    Pour les différentes variétés d’aubergines, je t’envie car je n’en trouve pas chez moi!

  3. You’ve picked up some gorgeous looking eggplants there! I went from a kid who hated eggplant to now cooking and making other people in the family appreciate it. My recent favorite has been making an eggplant marinara with lots of garlic and basil to top off my pasta.

  4. Beautiful photo! The smaller eggplants are much, much less bitter than the monstrosity so common in American grocery stores.

    My favorite combination is eggplant and yogurt. My mom dices the eggplant, fries until deep brown, then makes a salad with yogurt, onions, tomatoes, and a chopped green chile. All the frying is usually too much work for me, so when I get a craving I make a dish that I first had in a Turkish restaurant (it was in Boston, but is now sadly closed).

    Roast the eggplant in a hot oven until totally wrinkled and very, very soft. Combine with drained yogurt (or buy Greek-style yogurt already drained), salt, pepper, and a chopped shallot. A sprinkling of parsley and mint is also good.

  5. I love eggplant! My favorite way to cook them is to cube and roast of them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil. When they’re finished I toss the cubes with grated parmesan.

  6. In Japan they just came out with the white eggplant, it is called Silk. Love the shapes that you bought.

  7. I love eggplant. The rest of the family hate eggplant. I only buy them if I can find a nice tiny one. Most often they are the size of a small watermelon in my local. I like them sliced, brushed with oil and sautéed, lots of salt and pepper and eaten with my fingers…usually as soon as they come out of the pan.

  8. wow i love your photos, bea! so gorgeous. mmmm eggplants. makes me smile. i was actually at the farmers market yesterday oogling the white eggplants and now i wish i had bought them. i’ve never tried to white ones before.

    my favorite way to eat eggplants is simply brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, perhaps some other herbs and roast or saute. top with some fresh tomatoes and parmesan or ricotta…heaven

  9. I love them simply drizzled with grassy olive oil and grilled. I love all the different shape you show. I always find that the common eggplant in the US has way more seeds than in France and tickels my gums a little bit more too.

  10. 3 fois par jour j’en mangerai ! Ma belle-mere palestinienne m’en cuisine a chaque fois que ns allons les voir…. hummmm ! Je me rejouis de voir ce que tu vas ns proposer !!
    Bonne journee a toi !

  11. Hum j’ai decouvert le babaganousch recemment,
    mais ma grand mere marseillaise me faisait des aubergines dégorgées et revenues à la poele, a manger avec une sauce tomate, un délice auquel nous avions droit à chacune de nos visites chez elle. Que de souvenirs.

  12. I absolutely love eggplant. My favorite recipe is totally classic — ratatouille! I use an excellent recipe by Roger Vergé from “Les Légumes de Mon Moulin.” I love it cold too. Baba ganoush is great as well. Also a very simple recipe from the writers of the Silver Palate cookbook where you just cut them lengthwise and bake them in the oven with herbs and olive oil.

    I guess I’ll have to buy some eggplant soon!

  13. I love aubergines..I like them simply grilled or in a beautiful ratatouille but the best recipe to make with them is “Parmigiana di melanzane” (aubergine’s parmigiana).

  14. What lovely eggplants! I LOVE eggplant! I cannot remember a time when I didn’t. We had them all the time growing up here, the most common variety being the long, thin, darkly purple Asian variety. I have them in lots of ways! In a casserole much like lasagna, as “tortang talong” which is a kind of eggplant omelet, in vegetable stews or stir-fries, stuffed, in salads, eggplant chips with honey, in curries, as a dip (like baba ganoush)…so many ways to enjoy this vegetable, don’t you think? Can’t wait to see what you do with yours :)

  15. Je suis très heureuse d’avoir decouvert votre blog. beaucoup d’idées ..Les aubergines … un lègume tellement méditerranéen.
    Blog magnifique , photos splendides …Je vais suivre les articles pas à pas

  16. Lovely aubergines Bea! In Singapore, we also call them brinjals (brin-jols). =)

    I do agree that they don’t look very appetising after cooking but they can be really delicious cooked! That’s probably why I stayed away from them when I was little. I love green eggplants in green curry! Mm~!

  17. My hubby detests eggplants because of how it looks after cooking but I love them. My favorite dishes with eggplants are persian dishes. One is the Eggplant koresh (stew) , second is an appetizer called Mirza Kazame (which is basically grilled eggplant,scrambled eggs, tomato and garlic).

  18. Bea,

    I was at a Whole Foods recently and had similar revelations about eggplants – there are so many varieties and they’re all so gorgeous! I saw/held white eggplants, graffiti, Japanese and Thai for the first time. I’m an eggplant lover for sure!

  19. Your photos are outstanding!! I love eggplants. I have been making baba ganooj all summer!

  20. my favorite … Hyderabadi eggplant. Small baby globe eggplants scored open and filled with a sesame and peanut paste and then simmered in a yellow curry with a Hyderabadi garam masala — the usual suspects plus lots of fennel seeds. With basmati rice, you need nothing else.

  21. I came across another great food site, fx cuisine, written by a passionate amateur cook. He has a great sicilian eggplant recipe here – http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Display=102

    Among other things, I’ve been growing 2 different varieties of asian eggplant in homemade Earthboxes on my garage roof. My favorite way to prepare them is to lightly grill them and mix with some grilled onions. Roughly chop the grilled vegetables, add some plain yogurt, add chopped dill, mint or parsley, and adjust seasoning. Serve it with some crusty bread.

  22. We’ve got some gorgeous ones growing in our garden (four different varieties . . . they look like your photo!) and are having a ball coming up with ways to enjoy them. Like Sarah, I’ve converted a lot of eggplant haters to eggplant lovers (myself included) by taking people out to the garden to harvest the eggplant themselves (so they let their guard down) and then making something irresistable so they can’t say no.

  23. I never liked egg plant, well, until very recently…that it’s so tasty if cooked right…I will have to try some egg plant recipes. :)

  24. Pingback: f00die » Simple Grilled Eggplant

  25. I’m a lover of egg plants Béa! My mom always cooked the big purple/black ones. I think that’s all there were when I was growing up. It is beautiful to have so many different ones to choose from. I want them all but they don’t last long enough to do that.
    I maybe most often just roast them (salt, pepper, olive oil, herb). My sin maybe that I’ll put a drop or two of liquid smoke in the olive oil.

  26. It’s not online yet, but a few months ago, Gourmet ran a recipe for Sicilian Sweet and Sour Eggplant that I am making on an almost weekly basis. We sub parm for the ricotta salata and basil for mint. I am sure the original recipe is devine, but I tend to leverage what I have on hand.

  27. Wow!! I love your site. Great photos. You asked about the book, The Essence of Chocolate. It is a good general book on chocolate. If you want great recipes, or technique, this isn’t the book for you. There is a good reference to the history, the parts of the world the crop comes from, the future of chocolate, etc. Good book for culinary students. I would have bought this book if it were on a recommended reading list.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
    Kareen

  28. Amazing! Eggplant was the very first food from my garden that came out successfully. Each year, it is something different, but I will always remember the pleasure of those little purple vegetables growing!

  29. J’adore les aubergines, quand on les cuit “à point” à la poëlle ou au wok la chair donne une consistance de chair quasi viandeuse…
    Recettes préférées: melanzane alla parmigiana et une recette chinoise qui allie aubergines, ail (beaucoup), piments frais et gingembre. Miam!
    Merci pour tes belles photos, elles donnent envie d’en manger!

  30. Thank you very much all! I loved reading your comments and recipe suggestions. My eggplant recipes will follow in a short while! Just the time to write up the posts ;-) Thanks again!

  31. Pingback: Eggplant in a Millefeuille — L’aubergine dans un millefeuille by La Tartine Gourmande

  32. Moi aussi j’ai acheté des aubergines graffiti il y a peu, j’ai trouvé ça frustrant de les faire cuire tellement elles étaient jolies… Tes photos les subliment encore un peu plus, bravo.

  33. When we were living in China they would prepare an amazing saute aubergine with basil, yellow soy bean paste, garlic and I think fish sauce (just a touch). The surprising thing that I could never get the chefs to explain to me was how the aubergines they cooked maintained that lovely purple color once cooked – something I have seen nowhere else and have failed to reproduce. Does anyone know the secret?

    Thank you,

    Luke

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