Welcome to SAVEUR’s column on making the most of local produce according to chef and recipe developer Fatima Khawaja. This is where you’ll find creative, unfussy meal ideas plus plenty of cooking advice—like what to do with that bumper crop of zucchini or how to store delicate heirloom tomatoes. Follow along, and you’ll learn how to turn the season’s bounty into easy plant-based meals that’ll be on the table in under an hour.
Confession time: I’ve never really cared for eggplant, unless it was breaded and deep fried, but recently I found another way to love the berry (yes, it’s a fruit). I salt it, coat it in spices, then shallow-fry it until soft, before topping the whole thing off with a dollop of yogurt and scattered mint leaves and sumac.
Large globe eggplants can be bitter, a problem easily mitigated by peeling the skin, salting the flesh ahead of time, or both. Smaller globes, dainty “fairy tail” varieties, and slender Japanese eggplants, if you can find them, are sweeter and don’t require any such prepwork.
All eggplant types take wonderfully to this recipe and countless others from our archive including this vegetarian gratin that will transport you to France. But don’t miss out on the classic combination of eggplant and yogurt in my flavor-packed weeknight favorite.
- 1 large globe eggplant (1½ lbs.), cut into ½-in. rounds
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (¾ cup)
- 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 tsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 2 cup plain full-fat yogurt
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- Chopped mint leaves, ground sumac, and garam masala, for garnish