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



Print Friendly, PDF & Email