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Marinated Eggplant

by Victor @ Taste of Artisan

Marinated eggplant is an easy to make and delicious dish from Central Asia. Vegan, low carb, gluten free and paleo friendly, this dish can be served as an appetizer, as a side dish, in place of a salad, or just by itself. It’s that good!

Close up of marinated eggplant slices sprinkled with chopped greens.

I am usually the cook in the family, I just love cooking and seeing how others enjoy my creations. My lovely and talented wife, on the other hand, is not too crazy about cooking, but when she does cook, she impresses us all. As a child, she spent a number of years in a far away country of Tajikistan where she experienced some of the most interesting and delicious dishes.

Yesterday she prepared one of them, marinated eggplant. It’s a very common dish in that region. Our kids, who never even touch eggplant, ate a plateful and then asked for more.

While my wife was assembling the dish before marinating it she made a little sandwich for me to try, a slice of still warm fried eggplant, a little garlic, fresh black pepper, salt, topped with a slice of tomato and fresh greens. OMG! I exclaimed. Can this get any better? Do we even need to marinate them?

I ended up eating another one of those sandwiches, and then another… I really liked the warmth of the eggplant, and the toasty, nutty flavor it had. Now that I also tried the dish fully marinated and chilled, I am still torn as to which one I prefer. Both are amazing, refreshing and full of summer flavors.

Preparation and cooking is fairly simple. I would even put this recipe into the category of quick eggplant recipes. Slices of eggplant are sauteed over medium heat on both sides, about 6 minutes per side, to soften them a little and obtain a nice golden brown color.

Spreading garlic on top of eggplant slice.

To make sure that flavors spread across nicely and evenly, it’s best to spread pressed garlic all over each eggplant slice. It may sound a bit tedious, but really does not take that long, about 10 minutes or so.

Then layer your eggplant in a pot or a container, sprinkling a tiny bit of salt and pepper, and the greens, on top of each slice. Again, this helps to ensure that each piece is as seasoned and as flavorful as the next.

Layering eggplant slices and chopped greens in a pot.

When done layering, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature for four hours. Now your eggplant are fully marinated and ready for serving.

Refrigerate whatever is left. It helps if the lid is tight, you don’t want other food in the fridge to smell like garlic.

Marinated eggplant will keep in a refrigerator for up to eight days, if they last that long. Ours are just about gone, and it’s only been one day.

Close up of marinated eggplant slices sprinkled with chopped greens.

Marinated Eggplant Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Central Asian
Keyword: marinated eggplant
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 29 minutes
Marination: 4 hours
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 108kcal
Author: Victor


  • 2 large eggplant
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed (see note)
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 3-6 Tbsp olive oil


  • Rinse the eggplant, dry with paper towels, slice about 3/8 inch thick.
  • Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place about 1/3 of sliced eggplant on the skillet in one layer and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes, until golden brown. Flip on the other side and continue cooking for another 6 minutes. As eggplant really soak in oil when they are cooking, add about 1 teaspoon of olive oil when flipping. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towel to remove excess oil and cool down. Repeat this step until all eggplant slices are cooked (2 large eggplant are usually cooked in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of the skillet you are using).
  • Spread a bit of pressed garlic over the top of each eggplant slice.
  • Grab a container with a tight lid, spread a pinch or two of pressed garlic on the bottom and sprinkle some chopped dill and parsley.
  • Place a layer of eggplant slices making sure they don't overlap or barely overlap. Sprinkle a tiny pinch or two of salt, grind some black pepper to taste. Finish the layer by sprinkling some chopped dill and parsley. Repeat until all vegetables are layered. Finish with a pinch of salt, pepper and chopped greens.
  • Cover with with a lid and keep at room temperature for 4 hours before serving.
  • Marinated eggplant can be refrigerated for up to 7-8 days. You can serve it cold or brought to room temperature before serving.


If you want to reduce the harsh taste of  raw garlic, zap the cloves in a microwave oven for 10 seconds or blanch in boiling water for a minute before pressing.


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 14.1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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Daren Rayer August 22, 2018 - 10:19 am

I absolutely loved these marinated eggplants. Will definitely be making them again.

Tess July 1, 2018 - 8:37 pm

Wow! I just prepped this and my and my husband split a sandwich for lunch. This is hands down makes the best vegan sandwich I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to taste it once it’s all marinated. Thank you!!!

victor July 1, 2018 - 8:45 pm

Glad to hear it! It’s one of my favorite dishes.

Tania January 11, 2018 - 12:46 pm

Just made this. Didn’t have dill. Still absolutely delicious!! Thank you for this recipe!

victor January 11, 2018 - 12:46 pm

You are very welcome. Thank you for your feedback!

Bridgette October 2, 2016 - 6:49 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I knew it would be great just looking at the picture, but the finished product exceeded my expectations. I tried it in a little sandwich, like you mentioned, and shared one with my daughter. She immediately requested this be added to her school lunch rotation, since it even tastes great at room temperature.

victor October 2, 2016 - 7:59 pm

Thank you for you feedback, Bridgette. Glad to hear you and your daughter liked this dish.

Anu @OneTeaspoonOfLife August 16, 2016 - 5:49 am

That’s a yum looking plate of food… looks super healthy too… pinned it for future reference

victor August 16, 2016 - 12:13 pm

Thank you for your feedback. Glad you liked the recipe.

Anu @OneTeaspoonOfLife August 16, 2016 - 5:40 am

Super yum looking plate of food. And it sure looks healthy too. Pinned it for future reference.

Yana August 10, 2016 - 3:42 am

Hi everyone. My husband is from Tajikistan also and we cook this dish pretty often. He also adds little bit of vinegar to the marinade…it is fantastic

victor August 10, 2016 - 10:14 am

Thanks for the feedback, Yana.

KalynsKitchen July 15, 2016 - 12:15 pm

Happy Friday! Just letting you know that I featured this in my weekly Low-Carb Recipe Love on Fridays post today. Hope a lot of my readers will click over here and try it!

victor July 15, 2016 - 12:44 pm

Thank you. This one is definitely worth a try.

Shayna Peltz May 12, 2016 - 4:03 am

This sounds amazing!!! I want to know what I can substitute the dill for? My husband is not a dill lover at all.

victor May 12, 2016 - 11:55 am

I heard that tarragon is a good substitute for dill. You would substitute an equal amount. In this recipe, you can easily omit dill and just go with parsley, or substitute with any other favorite herb, like basil. I think basil would be a very good addition.

27 Vegan Appetizers - Vegan Food Lover August 14, 2015 - 5:33 am

[…] #13. Marinated Eggplant […]

[email protected] Eco Friendly Homemaking July 2, 2015 - 5:42 pm

Oh my goodness this recipe looks and sounds so delicious!! I love eggplant so I am excited to make this for us really soon!

victor July 2, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Thank you Alicia. We made another batch yesterday, this time around we also added zucchini, cooked the same way as eggplant. They turned out fantastic.