Eggplant inspires strong feelings. Simply put, you either love it or you hate it. Here at MyDomaine, we're of the mindset that the lilac-hued, oblong nightshade gets a bad rap for being bitter, spongy, and mushy. If you're a staunch eggplant hater, don't click away just yet. We scoured the web for crazy-delicious recipes that we think even you will find irresistible.
In an effort to defend one of late summer's finest farmers market fares (that's right—move aside, tomatoes), we tapped some of our favorite foodies for easy eggplant recipes that are so good even the naysayers will be swayed to switch sides after taking a bite. Spanning a creamy goat cheese polenta topped with eggplant ratatouille to a braised harissa eggplant and chickpea stew, these simple recipes put the nightshade to good use.
Moroccan Lentil–Stuffed Eggplant
The Recipe: Moroccan Lentil–Stuffed Eggplant
The Game-Changing Ingredient: The saucy Moroccan-spiced lentils, which make this protein-packed recipe both low-carb and vegetarian-friendly.
The Pro Tip: Recipe creator Dana of Minimalist Baker suggests topping the stuffed eggplant with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs for extra crunch.
Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta With Eggplant Ratatouille
The Game-Changing Ingredient: The goat cheese gives this polenta a decadent creaminess that'll have you craving ratatouille all season long.
The Pro Tip: Ratatouille offers the perfect excuse to put leftover veggies to good use. "Sometimes the very best meals come from just using what you have in your kitchen and your garden and thinking a little outside the box," says recipe creator Holly of The Modern Proper. "This ratatouille is proof of that."
Roasted Garlic Eggplant Lasagna Boats
The Game-Changing Ingredient: The spicy Italian chicken sausage lends a depth of flavor to the meat sauce that run-of-the-mill ground beef just can't match.
The Pro Tip: If you're in a hurry, there's no need to salt and soak the eggplants prior to roasting, notes recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "I know that some people are pretty serious about salting their eggplants before cooking, but I just did not feel like taking the time to do that," she confesses. "If you would like to, go for it, but mine turned out great minus any pre-soaking/salting," she says.
Tomato Basil Eggplant Roll Pasta Bake
The Recipe: Tomato Basil Eggplant Roll Pasta Bake
The Game-Changing Ingredient: When baked, the cherry tomatoes in this pasta dish burst with their signature end-of-summer flavor.
The Pro Tip: This showstopping dish isn't difficult to prepare but does require a fair amount of prep time. "It is a great dish to prepare in advance and then just bake before dinner, making your entertaining, and really just your everyday life, that much better," says recipe creator Tiegan of Half Baked Harvest.
Braised Harissa Eggplant With Chickpeas
The Recipe: Braised Harissa Eggplant With Chickpeas
The Game-Changing Ingredient: The chili, garlic, cumin, caraway, and coriander, which infuse the stew with spicy, harissa-esque flavors.
The Pro Tip: Recipe creator Laura of The First Mess recommends soaking the eggplants in a salt bath for at least 30 minutes to help reduce the bitterness and toughness of the vegetable.
Stuffed Eggplant With Sunflower Romesco
The Recipe: Stuffed Eggplant With Sunflower Romesco
The Game-Changing Ingredient: The rustic romesco sauce, made with earthy sunflower seeds, roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, and loads of fresh herbs.
The Pro Tip: "If you'd like to make this grain-free, try stuffing the eggplant with herbed cauliflower rice," offers recipe creator Laura of The First Mess.
Grilled Jamaican Jerk Eggplant
The Recipe: Grilled Jamaican Jerk Eggplant
The Game-Changing Ingredient: Hands down, the Jamaican jerk–inspired sauce, featuring a mix of tamari, fresh ginger, garlic, chilies, fresh lime, and an array of pantry-staple spices.
The Pro Tip: Recipe creator Dana of Minimalist Baker suggests serving over rice or cauliflower rice and garnishing with fresh herbs like parsley and green onions.