Eggplant stems stew

The stems are the most delicious part of the eggplant, yet  they get discarded; this stew does not!

Throw in the stems (after washing them) in the pot and let them cook alongside the veggies and meat (if using). You will be rewarded with tender, full of silky meat eggplant stems to suck on and finally discard.  Only the inner stem is inedible.

Yay! (See photo above, on the right this is the inedible part, on the left the delicious meaty part).

Just cut off the stems

 and throw in the pot alongside the other veggies and meat


  • 1/2 pound of stew meat (add bones if you have some)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced (or a 14 oz can)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 pound of eggplants with stems
  • 6 cloves of garlic, whole 
  • 1 small cinnamon stick, salt, pepper
  1. Heat the pot and brown the meat for 10 minutes; add 4 cups of water, spices and cover the pot; bring to a simmer and let the meat simmer for 45 minutes till tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and fry the onions; add the tomatoes and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Add the eggplant, cut into chunks, the stems, garlic  and the stew meat and its bouillon. Cover, simmer for 45 minutes longer. Uncover the pot, reduce the sauce if it needs it and serve hot alongside rice or bulgur. 

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  1. Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Nothing gets lost… An interesting recipe!



  2. Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    How interesting. I would never have thought that. Next time I will use the stems as well. Thanks.

  3. Noha
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Nice recipe. My uncle’s wife used to sun-dry the eggplants’ stems after making makdous (pickled eggplants). She would use them in romano beans stew.

  4. verkin10
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you for posting,
    it brought back memories,
    my grandmother always included the stems
    next time I will too.

  5. Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh WOW. I had absolutely no idea they were edible. I’m eager to try them now.

  6. Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Well now I have really learnt something new today. I always throw the stems away but not any more now. Thanks. Have a good weekend Diane

  7. dew
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Hi, I had no idea they were edible. Thanks for teaching me. So when you say you suck on them, and that the inner portion of the stem is inedible, is it like scraping an artichoke leaf, or a crab finger? Thanks if you can help.

  8. Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    How thrifty! I never would have thought to use eggplant stems like that!

  9. Joumana
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    @Dew: Yes, exactly; one part is soft and silky (still eggplant) and the other you will feel as you are sucking on the stem, is tough; this is the inner stem and it has the texture of a thin rope.

  10. Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I’ve learnt something new today. Didn’t know that eggplant stems were fit to make a delicious meal! Thank you.

  11. Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Un ragoût plein de saveurs. J’aurai au moins appris ça aujourd’hui. J’aime beaucoup l’aubergine, je la cuisine souvent mais j’ai toujours jeté la tige.
    Je ne le ferai plus.
    A bientôt

  12. Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Very interesting! We really don’t see the stems on eggplants available in our markets but I’m sure going to keep this in mind if I can ever get some directly from the ground.

  13. Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    What an interesting dish! It looks rich and delicious!

  14. Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    great idea Joumana !

  15. Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Those eggplants look like jewels! I didn’t know that eggplant stems were edible, but I love this idea!

    I hope you’re doing well!

  16. Posted September 23, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    I’ve never tasted this eggplant meal!! Would love to try it!

  17. Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I only recently find out about squash blossoms. Now egg plant stems! Who knew?!?! Obviously a lot of people, save for me. Cheers!

  18. Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful garden and beautiful produce you have there, Joumana. What a unique dish and the first time I’ve ever seen something made with the stems. I could put onions, garlic and tomato in every dish I make :)

  19. Posted September 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Mom would cook eggplants with their stems and I loved to suck these meaty stems. It’s not a common way to cook the stems, so I thought it was special to mom. I haven’t seen eggplant stems cooked since then. I completely forgot mom’s way. Thanks for reminding! Loved your way too! Must try it before the last summer eggplants finish.

  20. dew
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Joumana! I have enough flowers on my eggplant plant (lol) for one more dinner, so I’ll try scraping the stems with my teeth when they’re big enough to harvest!

  21. Posted September 24, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    I can always count on you to have the most unbelievable ways to creatively use ingredients!

  22. Posted September 24, 2012 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    I never knew!

  23. Posted September 24, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Very very cool! Who would have thought? Really a poor man’s recipe – and aren’t those the best? The finished dish looks out of this world – good and rich!

  24. Posted September 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, I wouldn’t have thought of this Joumana! Eggplant stems never occured to me as adible! Well, as Socrates said, as I grow old, I always learn. They look truly delicious!

  25. Posted September 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I have always just thrown away the tops – but this looks great! I love this idea!

  26. Posted September 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Joumana, it is delicious. We love the stems of eggplants, too. I also make bulgur pilaf using eggplant and its stems.

  27. Posted September 26, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    HA…with all the eggplant I’ve been cooking lately, this trick will save me a lot of food that I’ve otherwise been discarding….and I HATE wasting food.

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