It takes time and a fair amount of oil to cook eggplant on the stovetop but the results are worth it: creamy and flavorful, like no other vegetable.
Other vegetables you can use: zucchini or summer squash, but the results will not be as satisfying.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Preparation Time: 40 Minutes
- 1½ –2 pounds eggplant (preferably small)
- About ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
How to Make It
- Peel the eggplant if the skin is thick; cut it into ½-inch cubes. Put the oil and 2 teaspoons of the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Two minutes later, add the eggplant.
- Stir and toss almost constantly until the eggplant begins to release some of the oil it has absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes (this can vary greatly).
- About 5 minutes before it is done, add the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.
- CURRIED EGGPLANT WITH COCONUT MILK Also good with about a third of the eggplant replaced with small cubes of waxy potato, and served over rice: In Step 2, use 2 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil and, in addition to the garlic, add 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger and 1 teaspoon red curry paste, curry powder, or garam masala. After the eggplant begins to get tender, stir in about a cup coconut milk and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with cilantro.
- SKILLET EGGPLANT WITH TOMATOES In Step 2, add 1 medium or ½ large onion, chopped, along with the garlic. In Step 3, as the eggplant becomes tender, stir in about 2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh are best, but canned are acceptable). Cook for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break up, then add the remaining garlic and proceed with the recipe.
- SKILLET EGGPLANT WITH GREENS Use about a pound of spinach, arugula, kale, collards, or any fresh green you find at the farmers’ market. If you’ve got greens with sturdy stems, separate them from the leaves and roughly chop everything; you want 3 to 4 cups total: In Step 3, add the stems (if you’ve got them) after the eggplant has cooked for about 15 minutes; let them cook together for about 10 minutes, then add the leaves. Tender greens like spinach should go in during the last 5 minutes of cooking the eggplant. Add enough olive oil to keep the mixture moist but not greasy. When everything is tender, stir in ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese if you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.