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Eggplant Recipes: Making the Most of Your Garden Harvest

Gardening & Food
2022-09-11

Learn how to use up your excess eggplant with delicious recipes like grilled eggplant with herbs and spices, eggplant parmesan, and baba ghanoush. Plus, discover preservation methods and tips for growing healthy eggplants in your garden!

Eggplant Recipes: Making the Most of Your Garden Harvest


Content Outline

  1. Introduction
    • A. What is eggplant?
    • B. Benefits of growing eggplant in your garden
  2. Recipes for using eggplant from your garden
    • A. Grilled eggplant with herbs and spices
    • B. Eggplant parmesan
    • C. Baba ghanoush
  3. Preservation methods for excess eggplant
    • A. Freezing eggplant slices
    • B. Pickling eggplant
    • C. Canning eggplant
  4. Tips for growing healthy eggplants
    • A. Proper spacing and pruning techniques
    • B. Companion planting with other vegetables
  5. Conclusion

Introduction

As summer comes to an end, many gardeners find themselves with an abundance of eggplants. If you're wondering what to do with eggplant from the garden, you're in luck! This versatile vegetable can be used in a variety of dishes, from Italian classics like eggplant parmesan to Middle Eastern dips like baba ganoush.

Before we dive into some delicious eggplant recipes, let's talk about the benefits of this vegetable. Eggplants are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They also contain antioxidants that may help protect against certain types of cancer and lower the risk of heart disease.

When it comes to selecting eggplants, look for ones that are firm and shiny with smooth skin. The stem should be bright green and firm, and the eggplant should feel heavy for its size. Avoid eggplants with blemishes, soft spots, or wrinkled skin.

Now that you know how to choose a good eggplant, let's explore some delicious ways to use them up!

Recipes

  • Eggplant Parmesan - This classic Italian dish is a great way to use up eggplants and impress dinner guests. Layer slices of eggplant with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese for a hearty and delicious meal.
  • Baba Ganoush - This Middle Eastern dip is a great way to use up eggplants and impress party guests. Roast eggplants until tender, then blend with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil for a creamy and flavorful dip.
  • Eggplant Lasagna - This twist on classic lasagna is a great way to use up eggplants and satisfy your cravings for comfort food. Layer slices of eggplant with tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese for a delicious and healthy take on this Italian favorite.

Introduction - A. What is eggplant?

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a versatile fruit that is commonly used in a variety of dishes around the world. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. It is native to India and Southeast Asia, but is now grown in many parts of the world.

Eggplants come in a variety of shapes and colors, including the traditional oval-shaped deep purple variety, as well as white, green, and even striped varieties. They are typically harvested in the late summer and early fall, making them a popular ingredient in late-season garden harvests.

What to do with eggplant from the garden

If you're wondering what to do with eggplant from your garden, there are plenty of delicious options. Some popular dishes that feature eggplant include:

  • Baba ganoush
  • Moussaka
  • Caprese salad with grilled eggplant
  • Stuffed eggplant
  • Eggplant parmesan

Not only is eggplant delicious, it's also low in calories and high in fiber, making it a healthy addition to your diet. In fact, one cup of cooked eggplant contains just 35 calories and 2.5 grams of fiber.

If you're looking for more information on how to grow and cook with eggplant, check out The Old Farmer's Almanac and Food Network's eggplant guide.

Introduction - B. Benefits of growing eggplant in your garden

If you are looking for a versatile and easy-to-grow vegetable for your garden, eggplant should definitely be on your list. Here are some of the benefits of growing eggplant:

  • Eggplants are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any meal.
  • They are also low in calories, making them a great choice for weight loss diets.
  • Eggplants are rich in antioxidants, which can help to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Growing eggplant in your garden is a cost-effective way to enjoy this delicious vegetable, as store-bought eggplants can be expensive.
  • Eggplants are also very versatile, and can be used in a variety of dishes - from classic Italian dishes like eggplant parmesan, to Middle Eastern dishes like baba ganoush.

So, what can you do with eggplant from your garden? The possibilities are endless! You can grill them, roast them, fry them, bake them, or even use them in soups and stews. Check out these 50 eggplant recipes for some inspiration!

Overall, growing eggplant in your garden is a great way to enjoy a healthy, versatile, and delicious vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. So why not add some eggplant to your garden this year?

Recipes for Using Eggplant from Your Garden

If you have an abundance of eggplant from your garden, you may be wondering what to do with it all. Luckily, eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are some ideas:

  • Eggplant Parmesan: This classic Italian dish is a delicious way to use up eggplant. Simply bread and fry the eggplant slices, layer them with tomato sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly.
  • Eggplant Lasagna: If you're looking for a low-carb alternative to traditional lasagna, try using eggplant slices instead of noodles. Layer them with your favorite sauce, cheese, and veggies for a tasty meal.
  • Baba Ganoush: This Middle Eastern dip is made with roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It's a healthy and flavorful snack that's perfect for parties.

Not only is eggplant delicious, but it's also good for you. According to Medical News Today, eggplant is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's also low in calories, making it a great addition to any healthy diet.

So the next time you're wondering what to do with all that eggplant from your garden, try one of these tasty recipes. Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!

Recipes for using eggplant from your garden - A. Grilled eggplant with herbs and spices

If you're looking for recipes to use up the eggplant from your garden, grilling them with herbs and spices is a great option. Not only is it a healthy and delicious way to prepare eggplant, but it's also easy and quick. Here's how to make grilled eggplant with herbs and spices:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with the oil mixture.
  5. Grill the eggplant rounds for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are tender and slightly charred.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the grill and serve hot.

One of the benefits of using eggplant from your own garden is that it's fresh and free of pesticides. According to Environmental Working Group, eggplants are part of the "Clean Fifteen" list, which means they are among the least likely to contain pesticide residues.

Eggplant is also a great source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. According to Medical News Today, the skin of the eggplant contains a compound called nasunin, which has been found to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals.

So if you're looking for a tasty and nutritious way to use up the eggplant from your garden, give grilled eggplant with herbs and spices a try!

Recipes for using eggplant from your garden - B. Eggplant parmesan

If you're growing eggplants in your garden, you might be wondering what to do with all that produce. One delicious option is to make eggplant parmesan. Here's a recipe that's sure to be a hit:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut two medium-sized eggplants into 1/4 inch slices.
  3. In a shallow bowl, whisk two eggs with a tablespoon of water.
  4. In another shallow bowl, mix together a cup of breadcrumbs, a cup of grated parmesan cheese, and a teaspoon of dried oregano.
  5. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg mixture, then coat it in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake the eggplant slices for 20 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they're crispy and golden brown.
  7. While the eggplant is baking, make the tomato sauce. Saute a diced onion in olive oil until it's soft and translucent, then add a can of crushed tomatoes and a teaspoon of dried basil. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Spread a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices, then a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up.
  9. Bake the eggplant parmesan for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

This recipe is a great way to use up your eggplant harvest, and it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Plus, eggplants are a nutritious vegetable that are high in fiber and antioxidants. According to Healthline, eggplants are also low in calories and may have anti-inflammatory effects.

If you're looking for more ideas for what to do with your eggplant, consider trying:

  • Grilled eggplant slices
  • Eggplant curry
  • Baba ganoush
  • Eggplant lasagna

Whatever recipe you choose, be sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the bounty of your garden!

Recipes for using eggplant from your garden - C. Baba ghanoush

If you're like many gardeners, you may find yourself with an abundance of eggplants at some point during the growing season. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious recipes you can make to use up your eggplant harvest. One classic recipe is Baba ghanoush, a Middle Eastern dip made with roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Here's how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut two medium-sized eggplants in half lengthwise and place them cut-side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast the eggplants in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and the skin is charred.
  4. Scoop out the flesh of the eggplants and place it in a food processor.
  5. Add 1/4 cup tahini, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the food processor.
  6. Pulse the mixture until it is smooth and creamy.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve the Baba ghanoush with pita bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables like carrots and celery.

Besides Baba ghanoush, there are many other tasty eggplant recipes you can try. For example:

  • Moussaka: This Greek casserole is made with layers of eggplant, ground beef or lamb, tomato sauce, and cheese.
  • Ratatouille: This French dish is a vegetable stew made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
  • Eggplant Parmesan: This Italian classic is made with breaded and fried eggplant slices, tomato sauce, and cheese.

Remember, when using eggplant from your garden, it's important to choose the freshest and most ripe eggplants for the best flavor. According to The Spruce Eats, eggplants are at their peak flavor when they are shiny, firm, and heavy for their size. If you have too many eggplants to use up right away, you can also freeze them for later use. Simply blanch the eggplant slices in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the slices and pack them into airtight containers or freezer bags.

So go ahead and enjoy your bountiful eggplant harvest with these delicious recipes!

Preservation methods for excess eggplant

Eggplants from the garden can be a delicious addition to any meal, but sometimes we end up with an excess of this versatile vegetable. Here are some preservation methods to ensure that your excess eggplant can be enjoyed throughout the year:

  • Freezing: Eggplant can be easily frozen for later use. Simply wash and slice the eggplant into rounds or cubes, blanch in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, then quickly cool in an ice water bath. Drain, pat dry, and store in freezer bags or containers. Frozen eggplant can be used in stews, stir-fries, or even as a pizza topping.
  • Canning: Canning is another great way to preserve eggplant. Pickled eggplant is a popular Mediterranean dish that can be canned and stored for up to a year. To make pickled eggplant, slice the eggplant and layer it in a jar with garlic, vinegar, and spices. Seal the jars and process them in a water bath canner for 10-15 minutes.
  • Drying: Dried eggplant is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. To dry eggplant, slice it thinly and sprinkle with salt to remove excess moisture. Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and dry in a low oven (around 150-200°F) for 4-6 hours, until the slices are crisp. Store in an airtight container and use in soups, stews, or as a snack.

Whatever method you choose, make sure to properly label and store your excess eggplant. With these preservation methods, you can enjoy your garden-fresh eggplant all year long!

Looking for more ideas on what to do with eggplant from the garden? Check out this article for inspiration.

Preservation methods for excess eggplant - A. Freezing eggplant slices

If you have an abundant supply of eggplant from your garden, you may be wondering how to preserve it for future use. One effective method is to freeze eggplant slices. This not only extends the shelf-life of your eggplant but also allows you to enjoy it throughout the year.

Step-by-step guide to freezing eggplant slices:

  1. Wash and dry the eggplant thoroughly.
  2. Cut the eggplant into slices of desired thickness.
  3. Blanch the slices in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove the slices from the boiling water and place them in a bowl of ice water for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Drain the slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  6. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 2-3 hours.
  7. Transfer the frozen slices to a freezer-safe bag or container, label with the date, and store in the freezer.

When you're ready to use the frozen eggplant, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Frozen eggplant can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, curries, and stews.

It's worth noting that frozen eggplant may not have the same texture as fresh eggplant, but it's still a great option for preserving your excess harvest.

For more ideas on what to do with eggplant from the garden, check out this collection of delicious eggplant recipes.

Preservation methods for excess eggplant - B. Pickling eggplant

If you have an excess of eggplant from your garden, pickling is a great way to preserve them for later use. Pickled eggplant can be used in a variety of dishes, such as sandwiches and salads. Here are some steps to follow when pickling eggplant:

  1. Start by washing and slicing the eggplant into desired sizes.
  2. Next, add salt to the eggplant slices and let them sit for about an hour. This will help to draw out the excess water from the eggplant.
  3. After an hour, rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  4. Prepare a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar, and adding sugar and spices to taste.
  5. Bring the vinegar solution to a boil and then add the eggplant slices. Let them simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the pickled eggplant slices to a jar and let them cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

When pickling eggplant, it is important to use fresh eggplant that is free from blemishes or bruises. The vinegar solution can be customized to suit your taste preferences, and you can add spices such as garlic, dill, or mustard seeds for added flavor.

According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, pickling can help to retain the nutritional value of eggplant. The study found that pickled eggplant had higher levels of phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties, compared to fresh eggplant.

Overall, pickling is a great way to preserve excess eggplant from your garden. Not only does it extend the shelf life of the eggplant, but it also adds flavor and nutritional value to your dishes. So next time you have an abundance of eggplant, give pickling a try!

Sources:

  • Journal of Food Science

Preservation methods for excess eggplant - C. Canning eggplant

One common problem for gardeners is what to do with excess eggplant. Luckily, there are a variety of preservation methods that can extend the life of this versatile vegetable.

Canning

Canning is a tried and true method for preserving eggplant. It involves packing sliced or diced eggplant into jars with vinegar or lemon juice-based brine and processing them in a water bath. Canned eggplant can last up to one year in a cool, dark place.

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, it is important to follow tested recipes and proper canning procedures to ensure the safety of your canned eggplant.

Freezing

Freezing is another great option for preserving excess eggplant. It is best to blanch the eggplant first to preserve its texture and color before freezing. Once blanched, the eggplant can be stored in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 8 months.

According to the Michigan State University Extension, frozen eggplant can be used in a variety of dishes such as stir-fries, stews, and casseroles.

Drying

Drying is a traditional preservation method that is particularly useful for eggplant. Sliced eggplant can be dried in a dehydrator or oven at low temperatures until it is completely dry and crispy. Dried eggplant can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

According to Gardening Know How, dried eggplant can be rehydrated and used in a variety of dishes such as soups, stews, and curries.

Overall, there are many effective methods for preserving excess eggplant. Whether you choose to can, freeze, or dry your eggplant, it is important to follow proper procedures to ensure the safety and quality of your preserved vegetables.

Tips for growing healthy eggplants

Eggplants are a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways. If you are growing eggplants in your garden, it is important to take good care of them to ensure a healthy harvest. Here are some tips for growing healthy eggplants:

  • Plant in well-draining soil: Eggplants prefer well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil is too compact, the roots may become waterlogged and the plant may develop root rot.
  • Provide plenty of sunlight: Eggplants require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day to grow and produce fruit. If they do not receive enough sunlight, they may not grow properly or produce fruit.
  • Water regularly: Eggplants require regular watering, especially during dry spells. However, be careful not to overwater them, as this can lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply once a week.
  • Fertilize regularly: Eggplants are heavy feeders and require regular fertilization to grow properly. A balanced fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen is recommended.
  • Watch out for pests: Eggplants are susceptible to a variety of pests, including flea beetles, aphids, and spider mites. Regular inspection and treatment with organic pesticides can help keep these pests under control.

By following these tips, you can ensure a healthy harvest of eggplants from your garden. And if you find yourself with an abundance of eggplants, check out our article on what to do with eggplant from the garden for some delicious recipe ideas!

Tips for Growing Healthy Eggplants - A. Proper Spacing and Pruning Techniques

If you want to grow healthy eggplants in your garden, it's important to follow proper spacing and pruning techniques. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Proper Spacing

  • Make sure to space your eggplants at least 18-24 inches apart to allow for proper air circulation and sunlight exposure.
  • Plant them in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.
  • Consider using a trellis to keep the plants upright and off the ground.

2. Pruning Techniques

  • Pinch off the top of the plant once it reaches about 12-18 inches tall to encourage bushiness and more fruit production.
  • Remove any yellow or diseased leaves to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Harvest your eggplants regularly to encourage continued production.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of growing healthy and productive eggplants in your garden. For more information on what to do with eggplant from the garden, check out this recipe collection or this slideshow of delicious eggplant dishes.

Tips for growing healthy eggplants - B. Companion planting with other vegetables

Companion planting is a great way to improve the health and yield of your eggplants. Here are some tips for companion planting with other vegetables:

  • Plant eggplants with beans and peas to improve soil quality. These legumes are nitrogen-fixing plants that help replenish soil nutrients.
  • Plant eggplants with herbs such as basil, thyme, and oregano. These herbs repel pests that can damage eggplants.
  • Plant eggplants with peppers and tomatoes. These vegetables have similar nutrient requirements and can share nutrients through the soil.

It is important to note that not all vegetables make good companions for eggplants. For example, eggplants should not be planted near fennel or kohlrabi as they can inhibit its growth.

Remember, growing healthy eggplants requires more than just companion planting. Proper watering, fertilization, and pest control are also important factors to consider. If you are looking for more information on what to do with eggplant from the garden, check out this list of delicious eggplant recipes.

Conclusion

Overall, eggplants are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. If you have an abundance of eggplants from your garden, there are several options for what to do with them.

  • One option is to make eggplant parmesan, which is a popular Italian dish.
  • Another option is to make baba ganoush, a Middle Eastern dish made from roasted eggplant, tahini, and lemon juice.
  • You could also grill eggplant and use it in a salad or sandwich.

It's important to note that eggplants are a good source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Incorporating eggplants into your diet can have health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and improving digestion.

If you have extra eggplants, consider donating them to a local food bank or community garden. This can help reduce food waste and provide fresh produce to those in need.

Overall, when it comes to what to do with eggplant from the garden, the options are endless. Get creative and try out different recipes to enjoy this nutritious vegetable.

Keywords: what to do with eggplant from the garden