The Always Versatile Eggplant

June 15, 2016  |  By Peg Kern
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The Always Versatile Eggplant

Whether you call it an eggplant or an aubergine, this member of the nightshade family is one of the most versatile vegetables and you’re sure to experience it on our international foodie tours! You can find it in cuisines from Southeast Asia to Italy to Argentina, and its colorful skin can range from the darkest purple to pure white. Surprisingly (at least to me), there are decided “for” and “against” eggplant camps! Even in The International Kitchen office, which is full of foodies who eat pretty much everything, a love of eggplant is far from unanimous.

Eggplant growing on a farm during a culinary vacation in France
Eggplant is cultivated around the world, although a quick web search indicates the principal producers are China and India. Perhaps this should not be surprising given its popularity in Chinese stir fry dishes and in Indian curries such as the wonderful “Baingan bharta.” But eggplant is a tasty ingredient in pretty much all of the destinations we offer around the globe, whether you are making Baba Ganoush in Turkey, Melanzane alla parmigiana in Italy, or African eggplant stew.

Here are a few of our favorite eggplant recipes that we have featured over the years:

One of the simplest sauces, this Eggplant and Tomato Sauce from the wonderful Chef Claudio employs a plethora of summer freshness, from the eggplant and tomatoes to the basi.

Vietnamese eggplant dish prepared during a cooking vacation in Vietnam
For a different flavor profile, try our Vietnamese Recipe for Eggplant in a Clay Pot. It’s great served on its own or with a bowl of steamed rice.

Provence is another amazing region that uses a lot of eggplant, as in this recipe for Eggplant Crumble from Chef Reine Sammut!

And finally, no list of eggplant recipes would be complete if it did not include Greece! This recipe from Chef Diane Kochilas for Soufico (Ikarian Eggplant-Tomato Casserole) is the creme de la creme of eggplant recipes!

Italian eggplant dish prepared during a cooking vacation in Italy
What is your favorite way to eat eggplant? Do you call it “eggplant” or “aubergine”? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

By Peg Kern

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By Peg Kern
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