Years ago while working in the test kitchen of "Saveur" magazine, I fell in love with a technique for cooking eggplant that involved deep-frying small pieces until caramelized and tender. The process produced an ethereally smooth, custard-like texture in the eggplant, but also made it pretty greasy, something I just dealt with by dabbing at it with what seemed like an entire roll of paper towels. I was so happy when I tried that same technique in the air fryer, and this has become one of my favorite recipes in the book ["Air Fry Every Day"]. Not only do I get an equally wonderful texture, but I have a healthier version without anywhere near the mess to clean up anymore. Try it, and I think you’ll be a convert, too.
- 1 medium eggplant (about ¾ pound), cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices and quartered
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup plain yogurt (not Greek)
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste (see Note)
- 1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane grater
- 2 teaspoons honey
- In a bowl, toss together the eggplant and oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to the air fryer and cook at 400°F, shaking the basket every 5 minutes, until the eggplant is caramelized and tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, harissa, and garlic, then spread onto a serving plate.
- Pile the warm eggplant over the yogurt and drizzle with the honey just before serving.
Note: Harissa is a spicy, slightly smoky condiment that hails from North Africa. If you can’t find it, simply substitute 2 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with 1 tablespoon chili powder and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Ready for more? Try these 7 air fryer recipes
- Chicken parmesan
- Easy chicken kebabs
- Coconut shrimp
- Crispy homemade onion rings
- Brussels sprouts
- Garlic roasted green beans
- Crispy chickpeas
Recipes and photographs reprinted from Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer. Copyright © 2018 by Ben Mims. Photographs by Denny Culbert. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.