The short eggplant season has begun. Here’s how to get the most out of it.

If you want to buy locally grown produce, you should know that the eggplant season here in Southern California runs from July to September. And if you’re an eggplant lover like me, you probably have an arsenal of eggplant recipes ready, as do I.

The Times has published dozens of eggplant recipes over the years, as well as nearly several articles on this fruit for its many preparations. Joan Drake’s Mysterious and Practical Facts About Eggplant Preparation Basics Ross Parsons Eggplant: salt or no salt?There is no shortage of information on how to select, store and prepare eggplant. If you and eggplant are old friends and all you’re looking for are some new ideas to incorporate into the meal, scroll down for some of the most popular eggplant recipes ever posted.

Baba Ghanoush was the inspiration behind Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s vegetable Smoked eggplant with tomato and ginger sauce. The smoke comes from roasting the eggplant over an open fire until the peel is charred and the eggplant “crumbles.” (If you don’t have a grill, do it right over your gas stove or grill in the oven.) Freshly grated ginger, a tangy, tangy tomato sauce and coconut yogurt create intricate layers of flavor.

Brandon Geod Taiwanese eggplant It uses three techniques—soaking, deep-frying, and quick-frying—to create creamy eggplant wedges that are then sautéed in a sweet smoky sauce and topped with crunchy garlic, chile rings, and Thai basil.

Cheating on Susan Foo Roasted eggplant with pork cheater, Sichuan style Ground pork is used in place of the preparation and then the hind leg or belly, which is commonly used in this preparation, is chopped or shredded. Roasting the eggplant halves leaves them with cream of center, while crunchy soy sauce and umami mushroom flavor adds in. Perfect for an evening meal, the dish comes together in about 45 minutes.

Evan Kleiman Eggplant Timbale It is one of my favorite recipes in our database. It’s a little project, not difficult, it’s just a few steps: making the sauce, salting (see above) then frying the eggplant, and finally assembling the crust and baking it. The result is a stunning display of what “light” (and gluten-free) eggplant Parmesan tastes like. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to do than it sounds and it’s worth every bit of effort.

Made in single servings, Regina Schrambling Zucchini – eggplant – pepper Make an amazing presentation of the three ratatouille: zucchini, eggplant and pepper. Vegetables that are grilled instead of stewed keep their shape and take on an irresistible smoked look. The cheese custard ties together the layers of purple, green, and red and is light enough to allow for the flavor of pure summer vegetables. This is definitely a comfort dinner.

Eggplant Osso Bucco, Mushroom Bolognese, Rustic Polenta From Bella Vista at the Four Seasons Resort, Biltmore Santa Barbara is a great project to try sous vide – the increasingly popular method of cooking by vacuum sealing and then immersing in a bath of warm, temperature-controlled water. This technique is very simple and you don’t need any special equipment for this recipe. If you want to invest less time, feel free to use a good quality store-bought sauce.

Eggplant takes well to cumin, oregano, and cilantro, as does some of its best dishes – zucchini and peppers, as shown at Regina Schrambling’s eggplant – zucchini – pepper Enchiladas, Stuffed with a pan of the three vegetables, cut into small cubes and finished with ancho chili sauce. They make for a great vegetarian meal.

Thin, roasted eggplant slices add a crunchy dimension to Ross Parsons’ adaptation of this Rice bowl with cauliflower, zucchini and eggplant From Jessica Koslow, owner of Squirl Restaurant. Inspired by the clean flavors of traditional Japanese donburi (literally “the bowl”), a dish of vegetables, meat, fish, nori and spices served over white rice, Koslow adds a decidedly California flair by blending complex textures and tastes, which include yuzu juice, sumac, tahini, basil, Mint.

Grated raw ginger adds surprisingly fresh heat to this smoky aubergine sauce inspired by Baba Ghanoush. A tangy tomato sauce adds a sweet, light richness and a creamy, cold coconut yogurt.

time30 minutes

yieldsMakes 3 cups

Three techniques–soaking, deep-frying, and quick-frying–create delicious textures in this classic eggplant preparation.

time25 minutes, plus 1 hour recovery

yieldsServes 4

Delicious pork is simmered until caramelized and then poured over tender roasted eggplant in this simple weeknight meal.

time45 minutes

yieldsServes 4

This eggplant-cake batter contains just enough cheese to add umami without being heavy. Sweet tomato sauce balances out rich fried eggplant.

time2 hours and 30 minutes

yieldsServes 6 to 8

These tones make a great presentation of zucchini, eggplant, and peppers. Grilling gives them an irresistible smoky tone. Custard with cheese connects the layers.

time1 hour

yieldsServes 4

Roasted marinated eggplant “steaks” (studded with hearts of palm) layered over polenta, topped with a rich mushroom bolognese sauce and served with broccolini.

time2 hours and 20 minutes

yieldsServes 4

A skillet of eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers cut into small cubes make an excellent filling for enchiladas. Ancho chile sauce is fruity and mildly tart.

time1 hour 30 minutes

yieldsServes 4 to 6

The rice bowl is inspired by both the traditional Japanese dish of donburi (kind of rice, some fish, some nori, all really clean flavours) as well as an LA touch of tastes and textures.

time1 hour 10 minutes

yieldsServes 4 to 6

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