Superfood: Eggplant

Rich in color and nutrients, eggplant is a great addition to a variety of dishes from appetizers and salads to meatless main dishes.

  • Eggplant
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: © Antonio M. Rosario/Tetra Images/Corbis

    Superfood: Eggplant

    Eggplant has a unique taste and texture making it an ideal ingredient in a variety of dishes. Whether you plan to bake, broil or grill this fruit, you’ll receive a ton of nutrients and health benefits. Eggplant is low in calories and sodium, and is a great source of dietary fiber, potassium, and B vitamins. The next time you’re admiring a bright eggplant, just think of all the antioxidants and minerals it provides.

  • Eggplant and Tomato Salad
    Text: Lane Nieset, Tim Turner

    Eggplant and Tomato Salad

    Double up on potassium with the combination of tomatoes and grilled eggplant. The eggplant makes a nice addition to a classic caprese salad, pairing beautifully with the tomatoes. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant lycopene, which can help lower the risk of breast cancer.

  • Eggplant Involtini
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Eggplant Involtini

    Ciao down on the flavors of Italy with this vegetarian entree of Eggplant Involtini.
  • Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

    Combining eggplant with zucchini, another superfood, packs even more vitamins into a single meal. Zucchini contains Vitamins C and A, potassium, folate, and fiber—vitamins that can help lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure.
  • Vegetarian Moussaka
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

    Vegetarian Moussaka

    In this meatless version of the classic Greek dish, bulgur wheat stands in for ground meat in a spiced-tomato filling surrounded by eggplant layers and topped with a béchamel sauce. The eggplant and bulgur pack this dish with fiber. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Roasted Eggplant Salsa
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: John Autry

    Roasted Eggplant Salsa

    The perfect pairing to a bowl of sticky rice, this savory, garlicky paste gets toasty flavor from roasted eggplant and blackened garlic and peppers. In more traditional versions, you grill ingredients over charcoal for deeper flavor.
  • Eggplant Crostini
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro

    Eggplant Crostini

    Serve your guests a colorful appetizer that will not only appeal to their senses—it may also reduce cholesterol and prevent cancer. Grilling the eggplant makes it tender and easier to turn into a spread for the crostini. This dish will be a hit with its combination of textures and tangy flavor.
  • Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Johnny Autry

    Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish

    Traditional falafel is made from seasoned, mashed chickpeas that are shaped into patties and deep-fried. Here we use the same components to make a tasty filling for eggplants, baked and topped with a deliciously nutty sauce.
  • Grilled Eggplant Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt-Garlic Spread
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro

    Grilled Eggplant Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt-Garlic Spread

    Grill eggplant and red onion for a veggie-stuffed pita with Mediterranean flair. Eggplant has dietary fiber, which helps with digestion. This sandwich also contains Greek-style yogurt, another great superfood that helps protect the immune system and fight disease.

  • Eggplant Bolognese
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Eggplant Bolognese

    Adding eggplant to the Italian meat-based pasta sauce makes for a hearty meal that’s packed with phytonutrients like nasunin and chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid may protect against cancer and viruses, as well as lower cholesterol. You can feel good about feeding your family a dish that’s not only delicious but also packs a healthy punch.
  • Eggplant Parmesan
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Eggplant Parmesan

    Eggplant parmesan is a family favorite and vegetarian-friendly dish. Eggplant is low in calories and full of nutrients, making it an ideal main ingredient. When you bake it in a casserole-style dish and cover it with layers of pasta sauce and cheese, no one misses the meat.
  • Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Kana Okada; Styling: Sara Quessenberry

    Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwich

    Eggplant is a great source of antioxidants, especially nasunin found in the peel. Leaving the dark purple skin on the eggplant in this veggie sandwich not only adds color but also protects brain cell membranes from free radical damage.
  • Grilled Eggplant Naan Wraps with Tahini-Yogurt Dressing
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kevin Crafts

    Grilled Eggplant Naan Wraps with Tahini Yogurt Dressing

    Trade out tortillas for naan in these vegetarian wraps that are sure to beat the boring everyday sandwich. Naan, flatbread popular in Indian cuisine, is great when stuffed with grilled eggplant and drizzled with tahini-yogurt dressing.
  • Middle Eastern Eggplant Salad
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Middle Eastern Eggplant Salad

    This salad is similar to baba ghanoush and makes an excellent dip to serve with pita bread or alongside grilled meat. The broiled red bell peppers pair nicely with the eggplant and provide vitamins A and C to the dish, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

  • Baked Eggplant with Savory Cheese Stuffing
    Text: Lane Nieset, Randy Mayor; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

    Baked Eggplant with Savory Cheese Stuffing

    Baking the eggplant makes it tender and delicious, especially when you stuff it with bell pepper, tomato, and feta cheese. Perfect for vegetarians and filling enough as a main course, stuffed eggplant makes the perfect meal for any night of the week.
  • Baba Ghanoush
    Text: Lane Nieset, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Baba Ghanoush

    Baba Ghanoush is a typical Middle Eastern dish often served as an appetizer or dip with pita bread. This dish blends a variety of flavors from the pine nuts, cumin seeds, and eggplant. Serve this at your next dinner party or make it as a fun snack that’s full of potassium, manganese, and B vitamins.

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