Eggplant is such a versatile nightshade. You can roast it, grill it, mash it, stuff it, or chop it raw. Eat it as pizza, as an ingredient in a tomato sauce, as a dip, as a spread. Season with parsley and garlic, mint and yogurt, Thai spices, Middle Eastern spices. Don't be afraid, let your imagination run wild!
One of my favorite things to do with eggplant is just to grill thick slices and eat as a regular side vegetable. Weeknight meals are usually simple and are cooked entirely on the grill. Last week we roasted the thin Japanese eggplants whole along with slices of Gerard's bread. We rubbed garlic cloves on the bread after grilling, spread some of the eggplant (skin and all on these), added a touch of nice salt....there was not much talking at the table!
Emboldened, we remembered we hadn't made Baba Ganoush in a while. Usually we use the chubby Italian eggplant for this spread. Slow roast on the grill along with whole roasted garlic, remove skins, add tahini, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend in a food processor if necessary, but a hand mash works just as well. Let the flavors blend for a bit and then enjoy on toast, bagels, as a dip with crackers or carrots, or use as a sandwich spread.
My mind is already wondering how this would be with roasted zucchini instead (or half and half) or just adding a few garbanzo beans and making an eggplant hummus.
The pictures are from our creation, but for a more formal recipe, check out Smitten Kitchen's version.