Smoky Eggplant With Whipped Ricotta & Pistachios

September 21, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Whenever I fire up the grill, I like to throw a big eggplant on the side to cook slowly alongside my main meats. It takes some time, but will ultimately give way to smoky, creamy goodness. Whipping ricotta (like BelGioioso’s Ricotta con Latte®) is a surprisingly effortless trick that takes this dish to the next level, with added crunch-factor from roasted pistachios and a dusting of sumac for citrusy brightness. Serve it as an appetizer with bread or pita, or as a vegetable side with dinner—I guarantee you won’t be able to stop scooping it up! —Irene Yoo

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with BelGioioso Cheese. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Smoky Eggplant With Whipped Ricotta & Pistachios
  • 1 large Italian eggplant (1 to 1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 8 ounces BelGioioso Ricotta con Latte® cheese
  • Juice from ¼ lemon
  • 3 ounces grated BelGioioso Romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac (or lemon zest from ½ lemon)
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
  1. Prepare the grill at medium-low heat (or preheat your oven to 450°F). Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and cover all over with vegetable oil. Sprinkle the cut sides with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Grill the eggplant halves cut-side down for 45 minutes (or cut-side up in the oven), until well browned and softened; the eggplant should be easily pierced with a knife.
  2. While the eggplant is grilling, whip the ricotta with a hand mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy (almost like whipped cream). Add in the lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt, and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut it into ½-inch slices.
  4. To serve, spoon the whipped ricotta on a large serving platter and spread it around with the back of a spoon, then sprinkle with the grated Romano cheese. Top with eggplant slices. Sprinkle with sumac and chopped pistachios, and enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • OPTOMontheEdge
  • Kate Monson
    Kate Monson
Irene Yoo is chef and creator of Yooeating, a Korean American food channel that explores Korean home cooking, street food, and culinary history. She has developed recipes and penned essays for Food52, Food Network, and Bon Appetit, and previously presented about Korean culinary history at The Korea Society and The Museum of Food and Drink.

2 Reviews

OPTOMontheEdge February 25, 2023
This was quite yummy. I substituted toasted pine nuts, as I was out of pistachios. Smoky but fresh. Sprinkled some Aleppo pepper over the top for color and to complement the smoky flavor. Great easy way to use up fresh eggplant.
Kate M. February 14, 2022
My whole family LOVES this. And so easy! I do admit that I change it just a bit by scooping out the roasted eggplant meat and blending it with the ricotta, I also add a clove of minced garlic. (I meant to try roasted garlic tonight but forgot until it was too late, next time!)