The Best Eggplant Recipes from Around the Globe

An international tour of one of the world's favorite ingredients

How do we love eggplant? Let us count the ways. Prepared properly, the purple-hued vegetable has a wonderful, creamy texture that enhances all sorts of dishes. From smoky Middle Eastern baba ganoush and southern Italian eggplant parmigiana to a spicy Chinese stir-fry and a Turkish stuffed number, eggplant recipes show up in cuisines from all over the globe. Plus, farmers' markets offer so many different varieties of eggplants these days, from the zaftig deep-purple fruits we all know, to bulbous Sicilian, miniature Indian, and svelte, cucumber-shaped Japanese eggplants, that there's endless inspiration when the vegetable is in season. Our collection of globally-inspired eggplant recipes is delicious enough to surprise, delight, and convert even the most fervent eggplant skeptic. Check out our absolute favorite ways to use eggplant below.

Smoky Baba Ghannouj with Oil-Cured Black Olives
Smoky Baba Ghannouj with Oil-Cured Black Olives
Mayonnaise ensures a creamy, smooth texture in this Midwestern riff on the classic Mediterranean dip by cookbook author Amy Thielen. Chopped cumin seeds add spice and a little crunch to the smoky eggplant. Get the recipe for Smoky Baba Ghannouj with Oil-Cured Black Olives »William Hereford
Eggplant Parmigiana
Eggplant Parmigiana
You can make the major components of this classic Italian casserole in advance, from the red sauce to the fried eggplant, or even assemble the whole dish ahead of time. Get the recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana »Linda Pugliese
Provençal Vegetable Tian
Provencal Vegetable Tian
A tian is a type of gratin, typically vegetables baked in an earthenware dish. (The word "tian" also refers to the earthenware dish itself.) This classic Provençal version is made with alternating rows of sliced zucchini, eggplant, and tomato. The flavors meld as the vegetables cook together, somewhat like ratatouille. Seasoned simply with thyme, garlic, and good fruity olive oil, the dish is best served at room temperature. Lulu insists it tastes even better made a day in advance. Get the recipe for Provençal Vegetable Tian »Justin Walker
Warm Eggplant Salad with Hemp Seed Sauce
Eggplant Salad Recipe
For this comforting roasted eggplant salad, Sergey and Ivan glaze the eggplant with kvass, a traditional Slavic drink made from fermented rye bread. Get the recipe for Warm Eggplant Salad with Hemp Seed Sauce »Simon Bajada
Green Curry with Fish and Eggplant (Kaeng Khiaw Waan)
Green Curry with Fish and Eggplant (Kaeng Khiaw Waan)
Thai-style dumplings add a nice, bouncy texture to this green curry. Get the recipe for Green Curry with Fish and Eggplant (Kaeng Khiaw Waan) »Joseph De Leo
Grilled Eggplant with Basil Vinaigrette
grilled eggplant
Sliced, grilled vegetables served in a simple marinade or vinaigrette are a fixture at many Tuscan meals. Get the recipe for Grilled Eggplant with Basil Vinaigrette »Matt Taylor-Gross
Greek Grilled Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata)
Greek Grilled Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata)
Charcoal-grilled eggplants are a common Greek meze dish. Use the dark purple fat eggplants, not the long ones. If no charcoal grill is available, roasting the eggplants is the next best thing. Get the recipe for Greek Grilled Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Pasta Alla Norma (Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Eggplant
Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Eggplant
This simple pasta dish is made with tomatoes and eggplant. Get the recipe for Pasta Alla Norma (Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Eggplant) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Eggplant Rolls (Nigvziani Badrijani)
Eggplant Rolls (Nigvziani Badrijani)
This classic recipe is found throughout Georgia as part of the vegetable starters for a supra, but they're great with drinks before dinner too. Small eggplants are sliced lengthwise, salted, rinsed, and lightly fried, before being spread with garlicy walnut paste and rolled up. Get the recipe for Eggplant Rolls (Nigvziani Badrijani) »Kat Craddock
Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)
Vegetarian Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)
Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry. Get the recipe for Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Sicilian Caponata
Caponata
The sweet and sour flavors—or agrodolce—of this caponata come from sugar and vinegar, which have historically been used to preserve Sicilian relishes and are typically included in the island's traditional vegetable and seafood dishes. Get the recipe for Sicilian Caponata »William Hereford
Rainy Day Chicken with Eggplant Salad
Rainy Day Chicken with Eggplant Salad
Brighten up any day with this simple roast chicken and fresh eggplant and herb salad. Get the recipe for Rainy Day Chicken with Eggplant Salad »Farideh Sadeghin
Escalivada Catalana
Escalivada Catalana
Akin to Puerto Rican escabeche, roasted, tender vegetables are marinated in a simple sherry vinegar dressing for an easy side dish to grilled fish, roast pork, or tender rib eye steak. Get the recipe for Escalivada Catalana »Farideh Sadeghin
Corkscrew Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Pesto (Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese)
Corkscrew Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Pesto (Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese)
The North African tradition of serving almonds in savory dishes is reflected in the pesto for this dish, in which the nuts are mixed with tomatoes and basil and tossed with busiate, the traditional corkscrew-shaped pasta from Trapani. Though we call for homemade pasta, you can substitute 12 ounces of dried busiate, available from Alma Gourmet, or your favorite noodle. Get the recipe for Corkscrew Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Pesto (Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese) »William Hereford
Turkish Stuffed Eggplant (Imam Bayildi)
Roasted Eggplant
This recipe originated in the Ottoman palaces. Use small eggplants for a better eggplant-to-stuffing ratio, since the key is to bake as much vegetable and tomato flavor into the eggplant as possible. Feel free to play around with the filling: swap in vegetables like sweet corn or zucchini for a seasonal twist. Turkish Stuffed Eggplant (Imam Bayildi) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Twice-Cooked Eggplant with Sherry Vinegar and Paprika
Twice-Cooked Eggplant with Sherry Vinegar and Paprika
Charred until nearly burnt, then mashed with earthy paprika and sour sherry vinegar, we love this dish as a condiment on roast lamb or served as a dip with pita chips. Get the recipe for Twice-Cooked Eggplant with Sherry Vinegar and Paprika »Neal Santos
Ajvar
Ajvar
A smoky, sweet, and savory condiment as versatile as ketchup. This version is adapted from Tim Wiechmann, of Boston's Playska, a Balkan-style sandwich shop. Get the recipe for Ajvar »Matt Taylor-Gross
Eggplant and Walnut Frittata (Badimjan Kükü)
eggplant and walnut frittata (badimjan kükü)
This hearty Azeri egg dish—which can be served in small pieces as an appetizer or side, or cut into larger wedges as a main—is loaded with ground walnuts, onions, and eggplant, giving it a nutty, meaty consistency and color. Get the recipe for Eggplant and Walnut Frittata (Badimjan Kükü) »Jason Lang
Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds
Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds
This eggplant dish from Michael Solomonov's Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia highlights classic Middle Eastern ingredients: carob molasses, tahini, and pomegranate. Get the recipe for Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds »Matt Taylor-Gross
White Chocolate Baba Ghannouj
White Chocolate Baba Ghannouj
The famously smoky Middle Eastern eggplant puree reaches new heights of smoothness with the inclusion of white chocolate, which compliments the nutty flavor of tahini and the delicate spice of fresh garlic and paprika. Get the recipe for White Chocolate Baba Ghannouj »Yossy Arefi
Moussaka
Moussaka
A good moussaka—a baked casserole of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and minced lamb or beef under a lush layer of béchamel sauce—is one of the most fabulous things you can eat. Get the recipe for Moussaka »Todd Coleman
Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant
Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant
A creamy eggplant purée, enriched with béchamel and Gruyère cheese serves as a bed for meltingly tender lamb shanks, slow-braised in red wine and aromatics. Get the recipe for Lamb Shanks in Red Wine with Creamy Eggplant »Christina Holmes | Food Styling: Eugene Jho
Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj)
Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj)
Across the Levant, eggplants are grilled and mashed to make baba ghannouj, a silky, delicious dip for flatbreads and vegetables. Get the recipe for Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj) »James Oseland
Eggplant in Tomato Sauce
Eggplant in Tomato Sauce
This simple but flavorful dish of fried eggplant and onions is served with a vinegar-spiked tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Eggplant in Tomato Sauce »Ingalls Photography
Burmese Eggplant Curry (Khayan Thee Hnut)
Burmese Eggplant Curry (Khayan Thee Hnut)
Eggplant is simmered to melting softness in a fantastically pungent curry fortified by shrimp paste. Get the recipe for Burmese Eggplant Curry (Khayan Thee Hnut) »Ingalls Photography
Pan-Fried Eggplant with Balsamic, Basil, and Capers
Pan-Fried Eggplant with Balsamic, Basil, and Capers
Creamy, mild eggplant pairs with briny capers, floral basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction for a knockout appetizer or side dish. Get the recipe for Pan-Fried Eggplant with Balsamic, Basil, and Capers »Landon Nordeman
Fried Eggplant
Fried Eggplant
Crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside—this is eggplant at its best. Get the recipe for Fried Eggplant »Helen Rosner
Red-Cooked Eggplant (Hongshao Qiezi)
Red-Cooked Eggplant (Hongshao Qiezi)
With ingredients like dill, chiles de árbol, and anchovies, this dish is far from authentic Shanghainese, but it's totally delicious. Get the recipe for Red-Cooked Eggplant (Hongshao Qiezi) »Penny De Los Santos