19 Recipes Where Eggplant and Tomatoes are BFFs

July 31, 2017

Are there any two pieces of summer produce that are closer companions than tomatoes and eggplants?*

The inseparable pair reminds me of the main characters in Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad series. Eggplant would, of course, be Frog: tall and lanky, yet bulbous in all the right places. And tomato would be Toad: squat and rotund, and, as the Wikipedia page says, "just as caring and friendly as Frog, [but] also the more serious and uptight of the duo." (That's right: Don't squeeze your tomatoes.)

Why do the two work so well together? The sweet, juicy tomatoes balance the slightly-bitter, sometimes-spongy, sometimes-silky eggplant, with the two tag-teaming in pastas, curries, stews, spreads, and casseroles.

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We're celebrating summer's bestest friends in nineteen recipes where the BFFs shine. We will start, of course, with eggplant Parmesan.

* Well, besides tomato and corn, tomato and basil, tomato and nectarines... Tomatoes are popular dudes!

Eggplant Parmesans

A Parmigiana di Melanzane that you'd find in Sicily, this one's made with real-deal fried eggplant. Layer the silky, golden-brown slices with a simple sauce made from tomato purée, grated Parmesan, and tons of fresh basil (but skip the mozzarella).

If you're wary to fry, try any of these three recipes, where the eggplant gets baked before it's layered with tomato sauce. You could also grill it! (In Giulia Melucci's recipe, the casserole is scattered with a breadcrumb-walnut topping for extra crunchy crispness.)

Eggplant Tomato Pastas

stews, roll-ups, bakes, and spreads

What's your favorite way to combine eggplant and tomatoes? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
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  • jamcook
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


luvcookbooks August 1, 2017
Everyone at work admired the beautiful photos Food52 took of Purnima Garg's Tomato and Eggplant Curry and Spaghetti a la Sylvia Thompson. Thank you!
judy August 1, 2017
A few missing recipes that are classic: ratatouille, baba ganouj, and moussaka. Always mkake variations of these during eggplant and tomato season. Mmmmm
judy August 1, 2017
complemented with roasted peppers. I only grow 4 items in my patio garden these days: tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, and lemon cucumbers. Julia Child's roasted eggplant ratatouille is my favorite. But there is little better than these two in a wide variety of variations when they arrive fully ripe in late summer. I'm waiting with great anticipation on my own as I can see them daily from my kitchen window.
Vanessa August 1, 2017
jamcook July 31, 2017
Patricia Wells eggplant and Tomato Gratin from her At Home in Provence Cookbook.