A white plate topped with eggplant with red pepper sauce and a fork beside it

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I love eggplant – it’s a mysterious vegetable and tastes fantastic when prepared correctly. And purple happens to be my favorite color. I first tried this dish at a church potluck and had a “ratatouille moment.” I love eggplant but it’s kinda difficult to find a great recipe for it.

I learned to make this from my friend Dina and her mom, Maria (who expertly orchestrates our wonderful church feasts). This recipe works best with smaller eggplants (the larger ones may have skins that are too tough to be palatable). I’ve been enjoying this for the past 3 days as a snack paired with a slice of good bread.

Ingredients for Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce:

2 large or 4 small eggplants at room temperature
3 red bell peppers
1 jalapeno or any hot pepper
5-6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil+ more for frying
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling over eggplant.
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce

How to prepare and cook eggplant:

1. Slice eggplant into 1/3″ thick rounds and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let them sit on the counter for 45 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. The longer you “sweat” the eggplant, the less oil it soaks up while cooking which is important because this dish is a bit on the oily side. While the eggplant is “sweating” on the counter, start your sauce (see below)

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-2 Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-7

2. Heat a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or a dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, arrange eggplant on the skillet and fry about 2 minutes per side. Caution: wear and apron and your cooking mitts and make sure babies have cleared the area (this is a time of substantial oil fireworks).

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-8

3. Remove cooked eggplant to a pyrex dish (you may place it on paper towels to soak up excess oil). Add more oil to the skillet between batches as needed.

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-9

How to Make Red Pepper Sauce:

1. Grate 3 red bell peppers and 1 jalapeno (use a food processor with a grater attachment if you have one).

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-10 Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-11

3. In a medium sauce pan mix grated bell peppers, jalapeño, 5 pressed cloves of garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup water . Simmer sauce uncovered for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally). Add more sugar and water to taste in the end.

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-12

Assembly and Finishing Touches:

1.Add 1/2 eggplant slices to 9×13 or 9×12 casserole dish then top with 1/2 red pepper sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and pepper sauce.

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce-13

2. Sprinkle the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and place the dish in the oven on broil for 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve it with some fresh crusty bread. Enjoy!

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Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce

5 from 5 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 large or 4 small eggplants at room temperature
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno or any hot pepper
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil+ more for frying
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling over eggplant.
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

How To Prepare and Cook Eggplant

  • Slice eggplants into 1/3″ thick rounds and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let them sit on the counter for 45 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. The longer you "sweat" the eggplant, the less oil it soaks up while cooking which is important because this dish is a bit on the oily side. While the eggplant is "sweating" on the counter, start your sauce (see below)
  • Heat a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or a dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, arrange eggplant on the skillet and fry about 2 minutes per side. Caution: wear and apron and your cooking mitts and make sure babies have cleared the area (this is a time of substantial oil fireworks).
  • Remove cooked eggplant to a pyrex dish (you may place it on paper towels to soak up excess oil). Add more oil to the skillet between batches as needed.

How to make Red Pepper Sauce

  • Grate 3 red bell peppers and 1 jalapeno (use a food processor with a grater attachment if you have one).
  • In a medium sauce pan mix grated bell peppers, jalapeño, 5 pressed cloves of garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup water . Simmer sauce uncovered for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally). Add more sugar and water to taste in the end.

Assembly and Finishing Touches:

  • Add 1/2 eggplant slices to 9×13 or 9×12 casserole dish then top with 1/2 red pepper sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and pepper sauce.
  • Sprinkle the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and place the dish in the oven on broil for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Eggplant with Red Pepper Sauce
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$

 

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Archie Werner
    December 12, 2020

    I made this today, it turned out fantastic! My husband loved it as well. I baked the eggplant (having read in the in the comments) in the oven, 180c for 25 min. The red pepper sauce is delicious! I‘m a new subscriber. Really love your recipes. Keep it up!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 12, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

      Reply

  • Sarah
    October 2, 2020

    Hi Natasha, I only have the long, Japanese eggplants in my garden. Would the skin be too tough for this recipe or should I try cutting them differently? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 2, 2020

      Hi Sarah, that may still work! I would love to know how you like this recipe if you try it with this eggplant.

      Reply

  • Amna
    October 17, 2018

    Hi Natasha, my oven doesn’t have the broil feature. If I am to bake this what would be the temperature

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 17, 2018

      Hi Anna. The broiling is mainly to melt the cheese. You can always torch that with a kitchen torch or turn up your oven heat for a quick melt. Watch it closely however. You don’t want to over bake it.

      Reply

  • Eva
    November 30, 2017

    This dish turned out sooo tasty! I was looking for something vegetarian and this is great😊 I love your recipes Natasha! Keep up the good work 😊☺ I lost one of your recipies; it was keks with dried apricots and cranberries. Could you direct me please? Thank you so much😊

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 30, 2017

      Hi Eva, I’m so glad you loved it! Here is the recipe for Christmas Keks. In the future, if you type “keks” into the search, it shows at the top 🙂

      Reply

  • Larisa
    July 12, 2016

    Oh my… This turned out amazing! Sauce tastes a lot like adjika. I used another commenter’s suggestion and toasted eggplant slices in the oven (350, 5-10 mins, or until eggplant tastes done) instead of frying. The end product didn’t feel like it missed the extra oil at all. Love, love, love. Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 12, 2016

      I do love the idea of baking them and ending up with less oil :). I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Inna
    April 15, 2014

    I love eggplant!!! Post more recipes with eggplant:) thank you for this one, kind of sounds extremely similar to how my grandmother makes it, which is my absolute favorite.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 15, 2014

      I love eggplant too! I have a Jewish recipe that I’m working on developing. I’ve been working on it for the past couple years. I’ll see what I can come up with for more eggplant recipes 🙂

      Reply

      • Inna
        April 16, 2014

        Sounds perfect! Can’t wait! Thank you:)

        Reply

  • k
    December 24, 2012

    I wasnt sure how long you cook the eggplant dish once you put everything together in the oven? 50 min?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 24, 2012

      It’s only the sauce that you cook for awhile (40 min). Once everything is combined and you sprinkle cheese over the top, you just broil 3 minutes (or until cheese melts).

      Reply

  • Jasmine
    September 29, 2012

    Thank you so much for this eggplant recipe. Tastes so good, I baked eggplant in the oven instead of frying until ready and turned out very tasty. Can’t wait for more recipes with eggplant. Thank you all the posts!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 30, 2012

      You are welcome Jasmine. I will try your method next time by putting the eggplant in the oven instead of frying 🙂

      Reply

    • Liliana
      October 25, 2019

      Is this to be served cold or warm?

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        October 25, 2019

        Hi Liliana, you can serve this either way!

        Reply

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