Eggplant is such a classic vegetable but you don’t hear about it often aside from eggplant parmesan. So if you’re feeling saucy here are three eggplant recipes to try, including the quintessential eggplant parmesan. 

Eggplant Parmesan

Let’s start off with the ever classy and always delicious eggplant parmesan. A good eggplant parmesan has 3 key traits: thinly sliced, a crispy crust, and a melty mozzarella top. An air fryer helps to achieve these things and without excess oil. I would recommend a sharp knife is to get thin and even slices to ensure all the eggplant cooks uniformly. With a smaller air fryer I typically need to work in batches so I recommend holding off on Step 6 until all eggplant slices are fried. You can keep the slices that have been fried warm by wrapping them in tin foil.

Ingredients

Small Eggplant

½ c Breadcrumbs

½ c Parmesan Cheese (Freshly grated preferred)

½ tsp of dried Basil, Oregano, and Parsley

1 Egg

Salt

Oil Spray (Preferably olive oil, but canola or vegetable would also work)

Spaghetti Sauce

Fresh Mozzarella Ball

Pasta of your choosing

Directions

Step 1. Peel the eggplant and slice thinly. Although you don't have to peel the eggplant, the texture can get kind of tough if you leave the skin on. 

Step 2. Lay out the slices on a wire rack or cutting board and sprinkle salt over top. Let the slices “sweat” for about 10 minutes and then pat excess water off.

Step 3. Crack egg in a bowl, scramble, and set aside. In a second bowl combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, and dried herbs.

Step 4. Begin by dipping slices of eggplant one at a time in the egg and then the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer dipped eggplant onto a separate plate.

Step 5. Set air fryer to 400 degrees and place slices in a single layer in the air fryer bin. Spray lightly with oil and cook for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes flip slices and fry for another 3 minutes.

Step 6. Top slices with a slice of mozzarella and a little bit of sauce. Cook in the air fryer for an additional minute or so until the cheese is nice and melty.

Step 7. Serve slices over a plate of pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan.

*I have a smaller air fryer so this recipe in particular is perfect for 2-3 people but can be double for a larger air fryer and a bigger crowd.

eggplant, vegetable, aubergine, pasture, brinjal
Madeleine Cohen

Grilled Eggplant

This recipe is simple and makes a perfect side dish to any summer barbecue. Grilling the eggplant gives it a unique roasted flavor and the teriyaki sauce adds an extra level of deliciousness! This recipe is adapted from Ruled.me.

Ingredients

Small Eggplant

2 tbsp of Sesame Oil

1 tbsp of Soy Sauce

1 Garlic Clove, crushed

1 tbsp of Sugar

½ tsp of Ginger Powder

Directions

Step 1. Combine all ingredients except for eggplant in a small pot and heat until the sauce becomes thick.

Step 2. Slice the eggplant the long way into quarter inch slices.

Step 3. Brush eggplant with prepared sauce and grill for 6 minutes per side or until golden brown. Brush with more sauce as you flip the slices and when you remove them from the grill.

vegetable, meat, sauce
Helena Lin

Moussaka

This recipe is a little more complex but a delicious Greek take on Shepard's pie. This recipe includes a rich and creamy bechamel sauce which forms a perfect layer to top off the dish. While the original recipe includes hamburger, this could be swapped out for your favorite meatless meat crumbles or hamburger alternative. The recipe I used is from Unicorns in the Kitchen, all of the measurements of the ingredients are the same as the recipe and the directions listed are the simplified version that I did. This recipe is the most complex of the three so I would highly recommend reading through the original recipe first.

Directions

Layer One: Potato

Step 1. Slice 3 medium potatoes into 1/2 inch slices.

Step 2. Boil the potatoes until soft about 7 minutes.

Step 3. Drain the potatoes and lay them down in a 10 X 13 inch baking dish.

Layer Two: Eggplant

Step 1. Slice the eggplant into ½ inch slices. Place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until soft.

Step 2. Layer the eggplant over the potatoes in the baking dish.

Layer Three: Ground Beef

Step 1. Saute onion and garlic in a pan until golden.

Step 2. Add ground beef and brown. Once finished cooking drain excess fat.

Step 3. Mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, thyme, paprika, cinnamon and pepper.

Step 4. Layer meat mixture on top of eggplant and potatoes.

Layer Four: Bechamel Sauce

Step 1. Begin by making a class roux using the butter, flour, and milk.

Step 2. Once the roux is finished turn off the heat add the salt, pepper, eggs, and parmesan cheese.

Step 3. Pour the sauce on top of the meat mixture and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.