Liberate your Tastebuds with Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can either bum you out or liberate your tastebuds, depending on how you treat it. It is celebrated in all of the great cuisines for a reason; it's versatile, delicious, healthful, and beautiful to look at. If it is respected, that is. Eggplant loves to be sliced thinly and salted for an hour or so to draw out the excess moisture, and then roasted with plenty of salt, olive oil, and garlic.

Full of texture and flavor, you can serve it on its own as a side dish, or wrap around fillings like ricotta cheese, basil, and roasted tomatoes for beautiful eggplant rollatini. Try slicing tender Japanese eggplant into bite-sized pieces and stealing them gently for a few minutes. After that, it's all about the marinade. I love sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, scallions, and a touch of sugar in mine.

Of course, eggplant also makes beautiful Mediterranean spreads and dips. Simply roast whole eggplant until they completely collapse in the oven, skin them, and combine the soft flesh with tahini, a bit of labneh or yogurt, garlic, mint, and salt for beautiful baba ganoush. It can be spread onto sandwiches in place of mayo, used as a dressing for roasted vegetables, or served straight up with pita chips and a few pomegranate seeds for garnish.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.