Rosemary Eggplant

2 Lbs eggplant peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

Coarse salt

3-Tbs. rosemary leaves

4 garlic cloves, peeled

salt and freshly ground pepper

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

20 sprigs parsley leaves

10-12 slices of toasted crusty Italian bread

Place the eggplant cubes on a serving platter, sprinkle about 2 Tbs. of coarse salt over them, then place a second platter over the eggplant cubes as a weight, but do not crush them.  Let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, finely chop the rosemary and garlic together on a cutting board.  Transfer the garlic mixture to a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Rinse the eggplant cubes many times under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels.  Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is moderately hot, about 300 degrees, add the eggplant cubes, preferably in a single layer, and cook, covered for 3 to 4 minutes.  By that time the lower part of the eggplant should have a thin golden crust.  Turn the eggplant cubes over, cover the skillet, and cook for 3-4 minutes more.  Sprinkle the garlic mixture and a little slat and pepper over the eggplant and mix very well with a wooden spoon.  Some cubes may fall apart; this is all right.  Keep cooking until all the cubes are soft.  With a skimmer, transfer the eggplant to a crockery or glass bowl.  Add the parsley leaves to the eggplant and mix again.  Immediately place the eggplant mixture over the slices of bread and serve.  This dish can be served as an appetizer or a vegetable, but should always be warm.  From Bugialli’s Italy.

Smoky Turkish Eggplant Cream (Hunkar Begendi)

  • 1 ½ Lbs eggplant
  • juice of 1 lemon 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt

Puncture the skin of the eggplants with a fork two or three times then char the skins on all sides either over coals or under the broiler (the flesh will become quite soft in the process).  Remove the charred skin and any hard seeds then drop the eggplant into cold water to which you’ve added the lemon juice (to preserve the color), and let stand 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat.  Stir in the flour then cook stirring until the flour is golden.  Whisk in the milk and continue to cook stirring until smooth.  Set over low heat and let cook for 5-10 minutes more stirring occasionally.  Drain the eggplant squeezing to remove excess water.  Mash the eggplant with a potato masher then add to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring, over low heat.  Stir in the cheese and salt to taste.  Serve hot.


  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • ½ lb. green beans
  • 4-5 tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs of basil, finely chopped

If you wish, blanch and peel tomatoes, seed, and chop.  Tomatoes can also just be chopped and used skin, seeds and all.  Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent.  Add eggplant and zucchini, turn up heat and cook until they start to brown.  Add sweet pepper, green beans and chopped tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer, add salt, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add basil in the last five minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  This can be served hot or cold.  Ratatouille can also be frozen: it keeps its taste well and is a wonderful reminder of summer in the winter months.

Imam Bayildi (Stuffed Eggplant)

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Lb tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3 Tbs chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and, using a large frying pan, fry in batches in 1/3 cup olive oil, until brown on both sides (10 -15 minutes).  Blot off excess oil with paper towels. Arrange on shallow baking dish and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauce pan, saute onions until they start to color. Add garlic and cumin, fry for 2-3 minutes then add tomatoes, oregano and sugar (if desired).  Pour in 2/3 cup water and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Stir in parsley and divide stuffing into 6 equal portions.  Pile the stuffing on each eggplant half.  Pour 2/3 cup boiling water into the baking dish and cook in oven for 45 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  Serves 6.  Adapted from Easy Vegan.

Fusilli Estevi (Summer Pasta)

This easy dish uses the bounty of summer.  You could add eggplant or sweet peppers to the sauté.  We used fresh fettucine for the pasta and fresh mozzarella balls for the cheese.  It was wonderful!

  • 1 lb. fusilli (corkscrew pasta)
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 c. pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 ½ c. ½-inch cubes mozzarella
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta, stir, and return to a boil.  Meanwhile, cut zucchini into half or quarter rounds about ¼ inch thick.  In a heavy skillet, sauté zucchini, garlic and pine nuts in olive oil with some salt until pine nuts begin to turn golden. Put zucchini mixture into a large, wide serving bowl and add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, cheese, lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil.  When the pasta is al dente, drain and add it to the serving bowl.  Toss everything and serve immediately.  Top with freshly grated parmesan.

Baba Ghanouj

  • 2 med. eggplants
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook whole eggplants under broiler, turning occasionally, until charred and collapsed (approx. 20 min). Remove from broiler, cool and remove skin.

Heat oil in a skillet, add onions, cook until translucent.  Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are golden brown.  Combine eggplant, onion and garlic and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a chunky puree.  Serve at room temperature with pita bread.