Drunken Eggplant

In Main Dishes, Sides by John Robinette0 Comments

“Sure, we’ll take the eggplant!” I heard myself say as my sister packed to leave after visiting us on vacation. I figured I’d grill them one of the remaining nights of our stay at a rental in the Finger Lakes. But I didn’t, and abhorring wasting food, we added it to cooler for the trip home. It sat for four days before we added the eggplant to our summer camping trip food supply. “I’ll roast them in the fire!” I optimistically told Lori. I didn’t roast them, of course, and on the aging eggplant traveled from Western Maryland to the Jersey Shore for the final leg of our extended summer vacation. About three weeks and five states (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey) after inheriting these things, I stood in the kitchen of the Brigantine Beach house my parents rented and stared at their wrinkling purple skin and vowed, right then and there, I’d eat them no matter what, and then never buy or accept another eggplant again! 

But what to do? Lori is totally vegan and I eat very little dairy anymore. The thought of a cheese larded and breaded eggplant parmesan (a one time favorite growing up in South Jersey) didn’t sit well in my stomach. A quick recon of our shore house rental revealed four opened tins of left-behind Old Bay seasoning in one cabinet and a fridge with beer. I was then guided by a mysterious force and serendipitously stumbled upon this amazing eggplant concoction. It is now, honestly, my absolute favorite way to prepare eggplant. 

Besides its deliciousness, it is amazingly easy to prepare and skips all those old eggplant steps like salting and setting aside to remove the bitterness. Add because the eggplant is braised, rather than fried in oil, it’s low-fat!

Be sure the beer you choose is vegan! We checked the app VeganXpress to confirm that Brooklyn Brown Ale by Brooklyn Brewery is indeed plant-based.

Drunken Eggplant
Serves 4
Earthy and savory eggplant seasoned with Old Bay and braised in beer is surprisingly simple and delicious. Plant-based.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
104 calories
19 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
360 g
62 g
7 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 104
Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 62mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. Two medium eggplants, cubed (6-7 cups)
  2. 1 12 oz. bottle brown ale (we used Brooklyn Brown Ale)
  3. 2 TBS Old Bay Seasoning
  4. Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 TBS)
  1. Add cubed eggplant to a large skillet and add entire bottle of beer.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
  3. Add Old Bay Seasoning and stir well.
  4. Cover and continue simmering until eggplant is tender, 6-7 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced to a gravy-like consistency, 15-18 more minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  1. Using a brown ale, or other non-hoppy beer, is important. Hoppy beers, like an IPA, will add to the bitterness, rather than mellow the eggplant like a brown ale.
  2. Serve with rice, or couscous, as a main dish, or by itself as a side.
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John Robinette

John Robinette

John is married to Lori and father of two awesome young men all of whom he shares his passion for the environment. When he is not Chief Strategy Officer for Sister Eden he loves to cook and read and be outdoors and fantasizes about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Other essays by John about life, death, and love can be found at his blog Hole in the Sun.

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John Robinette

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