Eggplant can evoke opposite reactions in many people - you either love 'em or you leave 'em. Eggplants are commonly used as an ingredient in popular dishes such as moussaka or ratatouille. Personally, we think this purple plant in the nightshade family has great potential as the main star of a recipe. We've gathered eight easy eggplant recipes below that feature the vegetable prominently - we hope it kicks of a life-long love affair!

Be sure to snap a photo of your creation and share it on Twitter or Instragram with @freshcityfarms

Miso Glazed Eggplant - The Super Foodie
Miso Glazed Eggplant - The Super Foodie

5 small eggplants
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp chickpea miso
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of mirin and 1 tablsepoon sesame oil. Wash and dry eggplants. Cut in half and score at a diagonal. Brush eggplants with sesame/mirin mixture and roast for 20 minutes. In a small mixing bowl combine 3/4 mirin, miso, coconut sugar and sea salt. Brush eggplants with mixture and return to oven. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until eggplants are soft, brushing with any leftover miso mixture halfway through. Serve immediately!

Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper & Garlic Spread - Fearless Homemaker SONY DSC

1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly. Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

Tomato and Eggplant Galette - Carrington Lane Bakery
Carrington Lane Bakery - Tomato and Eggplant Galette

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
9 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-6 tbsp ice water

For the filling:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp silvered fresh basil leaves
salt and black pepper
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For the crust, mix together in a large bowl, the flour and salt. Add the cold butter and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, until flour resembles course crumbs. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of cold water over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture starts to form a ball. If the dough looks to dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a floured table, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the dough with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle the mozzarella and the 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese on top, leaving about a 2-inch boarder.

Overlap the tomatoes and eggplant rounds in a fan on top of the cheese. Scatter the basil over the top of the veggies. Add a little salt and fresh ground pepper, then drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top. Fold the edge of the dough up over the filling. Brush the surface of the crust with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of parmesan over the entire galette.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and the veggies are tender. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Baba Ganoush - Naturally Vegetarian
Baba Ganoush - Naturally Vegetarian

3 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup organic sour cream or tahini
1 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped. Save a leaf to garnish
1/8 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (if using tahini only)

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet. Prick the eggplants with a fork all-over and place them on the grill. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin chars and blackens and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 8 to 10 minutes. This can be done on a gas stove by placing the eggplants directly on the flame of a burner. Transfer the eggplant to a lined backing sheet and bake until very soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, then split the eggplants and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skins. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl and using a fork, mash to form a paste. Combine the olive oil and the minced garlic, then add to the mashed eggplants. Add the sour cream and the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine evenly. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining parsley and serve at room temperature with freshly toasted pita chips.

Notes: If roasting the eggplants in the oven or broiler, substitute sea salt for smoked salt to help achieve the desired smoky taste.

Eggplant-Feta Phyllo Pies - Martha Stewart
Eggplant-Feta Phyllo Pies - Martha Stewart

1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush cut sides of eggplant with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant, cut side down, on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, 20 minutes, then remove from oven. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh from skin and roughly chop. Transfer eggplant to a medium bowl and add feta, 3 tablespoons pistachios, coriander, red-pepper flakes, and mint. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Lightly oil 6 standard muffin cups. Lay 1 sheet phyllo on a work surface and, with a pastry brush, lightly brush with oil. Stack 4 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil. Cut into 6 squares. Gently press one square into each muffin cup and fill with 1/4 cup eggplant mixture. Gently fold over corners of phyllo to enclose filling. Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon pistachios. Bake until golden, 30 minutes. Let cool in pan, 5 minutes. Serve pies warm or at room temperature.

Eggplant Parmigiana - The Curvy Carrot
Eggplant Parmigiana - The Curvy Carrot

2 medium-sized eggplants
Salt, for sprinkling on the eggplants
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon more
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Three 14.5-ounce cans of diced fire-roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
1 tbsp brown sugar
Balsamic vinegar, to taste
2 cups fresh basil, chopped
2 large balls of buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 cup Parmesane cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplants into 1/2-inch thick slices, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt (sprinkle generously - you want to draw out the excess moisture here). Let the eggplant slices lie flat for about 20 minutes and let the salt to do its work.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Once the mixture has simmered, add the balsamic vinegar, adjusting to taste.

For the rest of the dish: Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Use the remaining olive oil to brush a large baking dish (you will end up layering the rest of the eggplant). Sprinkle the eggplant with some basil, layer it with some mozzarella followed by some of the sauce, and sprinkle generously with parmesan. Repeat this process until all of the ingredients have been used. Bake until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese - Luminous Vegans
Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese - Luminous Vegans

1 medium eggplant
5 1/4 cups of tofu ricotta
1/2 cup of cashew cheese
1 cup spinach leaves
Oil (for sauteeing eggplant)
1 jar of marinara sauce
Panko bread crumbs for sprinkling on top
3 tomato slices (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the tofu ricotta. Stir the cashew cheese and spinach leaves into the ricotta. Next slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin layers. In a pan lightly coated with oil, cook the eggplant slices until lightly browned and mostly soft on each side (~5 minutes each side). Now it's time to layer everything in a 2.2 qt glass baking dish (7x11). Layer as follows: marinara on the bottom, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, lots of marinara and panko bread crumbs. Place three slices of tomatoes brushed with a little oil on top. Bake this for 30 minutes covered with foil and then about another 30 minutes without foil.

Eggplant and Tofu Stir-Fry - Real Simple
Eggplant and Tofu Stir-Fry - Real Simple

1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
4 tbsp canola oil
1 pound firm tofu - drained, patted dry, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red serrano or jalapeno chili, sliced
Kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Cook  the rice according to the package directions. In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin, vinegar, and cornstarch. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the eggplant, scallion whites, garlic, chili and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing frequently, until the eggplant is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the hoisin mixture, tofu, and scallion greens and cook, tossing gently, until the sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the basil.