23 answers

What Do I Do with Egg Plant?

Our neighbors gave us an Egg plant to put in our garden. We did so but neither my husband or I have ever eaten Egg plant much less grown it before. Well, so far, out of all of the things that we planted this year the Egg plant is the only thing producing. My question is this, How do you know when it is time to pluck it off the plant? And, does anyone have any good recipes for cooking with egg plant.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hello J.! My friend grows eggplant and made a delicious appetizer . . . she cut the eggplant into thin medallions, and grilled them on the grill with a little seasoning (She used Tony Chachere's) and Lemon juice. She topped them with fresh beans (like refried beans but not fried - just cooked, seasoned and mashed) and and a little sprinking of feta cheese. They were great!

1 mom found this helpful

When the skin of the eggplant is still glossy and it's firm to the touch then it's time to pick! I grow mine in pots, so they never get nearly as big as the ones in the grocery stores. The bottom of the bulb gets to be about the size of a baseball, maybe a little larger.

As for cooking, you can try this recipe for ratatouille (yes, like the movie :) that's how i got my kids to eat eggplant! )

Combine some olive oil, diced onions, garlic, cubed eggplant, canned diced tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, oregano, basil, adn thyme in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer until eggplant is soft (about 30 mins). It's a great stew, serve with some bread and you should have full bellies!

More Answers

Hello I've heard some people make lasagna with egg plant. They use the egg plant as the pasta.

I have a recipe for egg plant parmesan

1 egg plant
1 egg
2 tsp. water
3/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of oil
1 1/2 cups of spaguetti sauce
1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

* Cut egg plant cross-wise into 1/2 in slices; sprinkle with salt. Let sand 30 minutes; rinse; drain.

* Dip egg plant in mixture of egg, water, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute in oil until brown, about 8 min.

*Spread 3/4 cup of sauce in backing pan; arrange egg plant over sauce. Sprinkle with mozarella cheese; spoon remaining sauce over. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

bake at 350 until egg plant is tender, about 20 min

2 moms found this helpful

ANother way I like to do egg plant is a little different than eggplant parmigiana (though I LOVE parmigiana!). I slice it lengthwise and roast it in the oven with olive oil and garlic (just put under the broiler until it's got brown spots and turn it often). Peel it or don't, it's up to you, but the peel can be bitter and very "eggplanty". Roasting it seems to soften it and take care of the bitterness, but again, up to you.

I then use it as layers in a lasagna INSTEAD of lasagna noodles. Since it's not fried and there are no noodles, it is a very protein and vegetable rich dish that doesn't have the extra fat of frying and the extra carbs of the pasta. And I'm Italian, so it definitely tastes good, don't worry! I would never make something that didn't just for the sake of being healthy!

2 moms found this helpful

Ok, every year for Christmas we fry egg plant, it's our tradition, and it's wonderful. It's not low fat, but here goes. Slice it thin and in circles, salt, pepper and accent on both sides. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Heat quite a bit of vegetable oil in a pan (enough for deep frying). Get about a cup or so of flour, salt, pepper and accent the flour, and coat each piece of egg plant. Fry on both sides until brown. YUM YUM!!!! Enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful

Mmm, I love eggplant! You can roast it with tomatoes and onions and serve it with pasta, or if it's a Japanese eggplant (kind of long and skinny, the size of a zucchini) you can slice it lengthwise, fry it in a bit of vegetable oil, and dip it in soy sauce before you eat it!

You know they're ready right when the whole vegetable is purple and heavy. Happy eating!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello J.! My friend grows eggplant and made a delicious appetizer . . . she cut the eggplant into thin medallions, and grilled them on the grill with a little seasoning (She used Tony Chachere's) and Lemon juice. She topped them with fresh beans (like refried beans but not fried - just cooked, seasoned and mashed) and and a little sprinking of feta cheese. They were great!

1 mom found this helpful


How FORTUNATE you are to have such wonderful neighbors! Eggplant is both wonderful to eat and it is easy to prepare.

Pick the eggplant when it is dark purple -- and this likely to be when the vegetable is somewhere between 6" long and 10" long and 3" to 5" in diameter. You can search on the web for recipes by "Googling" eggplant.

Because I LOVE Italian food, my personal favorite is to serve it as a main dish Italian meal - Eggplant Parmesan. I'll give you my recipe/technique for that, below. I recommend trying that first, as it is one of the most common ways to prepare eggplant. Greek food is good, too, so I am giving you a link to Eggplant Moussaka. You do not indicate whether you "like" to cook or not, but I encourage you to experiment. Because you are likely to have a lot of it on hand for a couple of months, try several methods.

For variety, it can be prepared very simply by steaming it and serving it as a side vegetable. Wash and peel* the eggplant with a veggie peeler. Cut it into 1" chunks and steam it (using a steamer-basket placed in a saucepan, or steam it in the microwave). Then, serve it hot. You can drizzle melted butter over the whole bowl and season with salt and pepper (toss in garlic salt if you like). Or if you wish, everyone can individually melt pats of butter on it and season with salt and pepper to their own tastes (Molly McButter is a good alternative to the butter if you want it to be very low-cal.) Sometimes I steam large chunks of onion along with it. You can also top it with cheese sauce in the chunked form. Again, you can "Google" a cheese sauce recipe or for quick-and -easy, just melt Cheese-Whiz and spoon on the amount you like. I will give you a recipe for Eggplant casserole, too.

[* Note: I do not peel the eggplant when I slice it thin to make eggplant Parmesan. However, I do peel it when I chunk it to steam or sauté’ and eat like squash. When you peel it, it will begin to turn dark immediately. Just have some lemon juice, or Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) ready to sprinkle over it to minimize the darkening.]

Most of all, have fun and ENJOY! This should be great "food fun" for your 4-year old gardener.

Bon Appetite,

Quick Eggplant Parmesan: Below is an official recipe that provides the basic process. But if you want a “quick” version, just slice the eggplant thin, dip slices in egg and roll in Italian breadcrumbs (or crushed crackers or cornflakes), sauté’ eggplant slices in a small amount of olive oil, then place them in a baking dish in alternating layers of (1) prepared Marinara Sauce (I think “Classic Tomato and Basil” is best; it can be purchased at Sam’s Club sold three (3) 1-quart jars per package) and (2) shredded mozzarella cheese (Also, Sam’s sells a 5-lb. bag of “Stella” brand shredded mozzarella that is very good; I keep it on hand.) Use plenty of sauce and cheese; pop in the oven and bake until bubbly! Yum!

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant is breaded and fried then topped with sauce and cheese and baked, in this Eggplant Parmesan recipe.

1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups fine, dry bread crumbs mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled
16 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions for Eggplant Parmesan
Wash eggplant and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Dip into beaten eggs then dredge with seasoned breadcrumbs. Place slices on a plate and chill for 30 to 45 minutes. Heat about 1/8-inch of oil in a heavy skillet. Fry eggplant on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Drain well on paper towels. In a saucepan, heat tomato sauce, basil, and oregano. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in a greased 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Layer half of the eggplant, half of the mozzarella cheese slices, another 1/3 of the sauce, and half the Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Eggplant Parmesan serves 6.


For Greek Eggplant Moussaka:



Eggplant (or Squash) Casserole

1-2 Large Eggplant (or 6-7 Yellow "crookneck" squash)
2 eggs, beaten
8-10 saltine crackers, crumbled fine
1-2 Tbl. sugar (or more, to taste)
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup Velveeta cheese (or more, to taste)
1 Tbl. flour

Dice the eggplant* in 1/2" cubes and boil in a small amount of water (appx. 1 cup) until tender. Drain the excess water and cool slightly. While eggplant is cooling, crate the Velveta cheese (use a grater with large diameter grate. If you use a small amount of flour on the velveta chunk and on your hands, it will help you to grate it without it becoming sticky.) Using a fork, beat 2 eggs in a small bowl until well mixed. Place cooked eggplant in a large mixing bowl and mix in all ingredients, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Pour into a shallow 2-quart baking dish and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until lightly browned.

* If you are using yellow squash for this dish, cut the squash into 1" to 2" cubes. Squash has greater water-content and will cook to tender more quickly than eggplant, so it needs to be in larger pieces when parboiling it.

1 mom found this helpful

When the egg plant is fully purple that is plucking time!

There are lots of things and ways to fix it!
In my family we like it fried! To fry it, slice it into
1/4 inch thick slices, soak for about an hour in salt water
to take any bitter taste out. Then dip it in flour, then
into an egg and flour batter with milk, about the same
consistency of pancake mix, than back into the dry flour
and fry in deep vegetable oil that is preheated.
We season the flour/egg/milk mix with a little sugar, makes
the kids love it!
Yeah, I'm a man, but I do a lot of the cooking!
Good Luck,
B. C

I am not sure when they are ready, I would think when they are a deep, purple color. I usually fry eggplant, it is very good that way. I have had an eggplant casserole before that was good, but I have no idea where I got the recipe or where it is now. I would go to cooking.com or foodnetwork.com and put in eggplant and see what you get. L.

I had the food network on this morning and Malto Mario was cooking Eggplant. You can go online and get the receipe at foodnetwork.com

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