Cut eggplants in half, lengthwise. Scoop out flesh, leaving a ½-inch border around the eggplant shell. Dice inside flesh and set aside. Generously sprinkle eggplant shells with salt and stand up to drain in a colander.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and diced eggplant flesh, stirring regularly for 5 minutes. Add sausage to skillet. Cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in marinara, garlic, parsley, thyme, and oregano, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Wipe salt and moisture from eggplant shells, brush insides with remaining olive oil, and place cut side up on a baking sheet or a baking dish. Stuff sausage mixture into eggplant shells. Bake 30 minutes, sprinkle with cheese, then bake another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese begins to brown. Garnish with parsley and basil, if desired.
Per serving: 558 calories, 40 grams fat (15 grams saturated fat), 91 milligrams cholesterol, 1,379 milligrams sodium, 28 grams total carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 22 grams protein.
Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with some of the olive oil and all of the butter, sprinkle with some of the salt and pepper, toss, and bake at 400 F for 10 to 15 minutes, until toasted. Transfer bread to large serving bowl.
Turn oven up to 450 F. Toss tomato halves with some of the olive oil, salt, pepper, and sumac and spread out in a single layer, flesh side up, on the same baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
Toss cubed eggplant in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sumac. Spread out on a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Mix dressing ingredients (olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers, sumac, Italian seasoning) together with an immersion blender to break up the capers. Add roasted tomatoes and eggplant to the bowl with the bread, along with the olives and mozzarella. Generously drizzle with dressing and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: Italian, French, or focaccia bread can be substituted.
Per serving: 557 calories, 34 grams fat (9 grams saturated fat), 31 milligrams cholesterol, 1,234 milligrams sodium, 47 grams total carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 17.5 grams protein.
Slice eggplants in half lengthwise and poke the skin side with a fork a few times. Salt the eggplant flesh generously and place standing upright in a colander for 40 to 60 minutes to remove bitterness and some of the moisture. Brush off salt and excess moisture and pat dry.
Heat oven to 450 F. Brush the eggplant flesh and garlic cloves with olive oil. Place eggplant halves flesh side down on the baking sheet and nestle garlic cloves in between. Roast together for 20 minutes, then remove garlic cloves, setting aside to cool. Continue roasting eggplant for another 20 to 30 minutes until it’s collapsed and the flesh is very soft and tender. Remove from oven and let rest undisturbed for 20 minutes.
Scoop eggplant flesh into a mesh strainer, pressing some of the extra moisture out. Using a food processor (or mashing and mixing by hand), blend strained eggplant with the peeled garlic, tahini paste, yogurt (optional), lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Pulse the food processor a few times, careful not to over-blend. Add salt to taste.
Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with paprika and red pepper flakes. Enjoy with pita or raw vegetables. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Per serving: 133 calories, 6 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 15 milligrams sodium, 19 grams total carbohydrates, 10.5 grams fiber, 4 grams protein.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix ingredients for the Creole rémoulade sauce (mayonnaise, horseradish mustard, Creole or Cajun seasoning, minced garlic and white vinegar) and chill in the fridge until fritters are ready.
In a medium pot, bring eggplant to a boil in salted water and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly, pressing out excess moisture. In a medium bowl, combine eggplant, butter, and egg, mashing to combine. Mix in flour, baking powder, pepper, and Panko bread crumbs until well blended.
In a large skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 200 F. Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, gather balls of batter and carefully lower into the hot oil. Fry a few fritters at a time until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes each, flipping halfway through. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Makes about 20 fritters.
Per serving: 297 calories, 23 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat), 43 milligrams cholesterol, 444 milligrams sodium, 22 grams total carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein.