In Season Now: 10 Ideas for Eggplant

This time of year eggplant is practically taking over farmers' markets. Sometimes those pretty purple vegetables (which are actually fruits!) are daunting to prepare. One wrong step and you'll end up with a mushy dinner. Read on for 10 recipes that will make them shine!

Braised Eggplant and Tomatoes: Slices of eggplant baked with olive oil, tomatoes, and basil -- great vegetarian main course!
Ratatouille: You've heard of it, but have you tried this flavorful late summer dish?
Rigatoni with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch: Roasted eggplant, peppers, and garlic coat pasta for a hearty yet vegetarian meal, from Bon Appétit.
Roasted Eggplant Caviar: The name of this dish comes from how the chopped bits of roasted eggplant resemble caviar -- great for an appetizer.
Eggplant Gratin: This dressier version of eggplant Parmesan melds fried eggplant slices with creamy ricotta, marinara, and Parmesan, from Ina Garten.
Eggplant Wraps with Goat Cheese: Use thin slices of eggplant to hold goat cheese.
Stuffed Baby Eggplants with Lamb: A perfect complement to roasted eggplant: lamb, mint, and veggies, from Crumb Blog.
Ajvar: This roasted pepper and eggplant spread works spread on sandwiches or as dip!
Baba Ghanoush: A creamy and smokey Middle Eastern spread great with pita or on its own.
Grilled Eggplant with Lebneh: Lebneh, Greek yogurts thicker and tasty cousin, provides a smooth topping for grilled slices of eggplant, from Gourmet.

Related: Learning to Love Eggplant: How to Pick 'Em, Cook 'Em, and Eat 'Em

(Images: Flickr user Muffet licensed for use under Creative Commons)