Eggplant & Marinara Appetizer


I am no stranger to eggplant. Living in Istanbul, eggplant is a staple in my diet and I enjoy it in one way or another almost everyday. A lot of people don’t like eggplant because they simply haven’t had it right. Eggplant must be cooked, because doing so softens it and releases its flavors. I like mine simple, but all it takes are a few ingredients and the eggplant transforms from simple to exceptionally complex with deep overtones of accompanying ingredients. It absorbs quickly and shines whatever you cook it with. This recipe uses a homemade marinara to bring more creaminess and texture to the table. Enjoy!

Why it glows:

Eggplant: lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol with its chlorogenic compound, is anti-carcinogenic due to its antioxidant nasunin content, is a great source of dietary fiber, protects against colon cancer, and is a great source of vitamin A, B vitamins, folate and vitamin C.

Eggplant & Homemade Marinara

Serves 4


For the eggplants:

  • 2 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper

For the marinara sauce:

  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomato (or freshly grated tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of paprika
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions: In a pan over medium-high heat add the oil and eggplants. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the eggplant chunks are cooked through – about 10 minutes.


Place the eggplant on a dish and return the now empty pan to the heat. Add the oil, onion, scallion and green pepper. When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic. Saute for a minute before adding the remainder of the ingredients, except for parsley. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a soft simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to your liking. Serve the marinara sauce over the eggplants and garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil. Enjoy!


Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin



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  • Eileen

    I love how easy this is! Such beautiful chunks of soft, supple eggplant. I would put this over a plate of pasta and call it dinner, no questions asked. :)