Eggplant stems stew

September 21, 2012  •  Category:


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. 


27 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Nothing gets lost… An interesting recipe!



  2. Margaret says:

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

  3. Noha says:

    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 says:

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

  5. Louise says:

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

  6. Diane says:

    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 says:

    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.

    • Joumana says:

      @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.

  8. Alicia (foodycat) says:

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

  9. leaf says:

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

  10. Nadji says:

    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

  11. Joan Nova says:

    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.

  12. Erica says:

    What an interesting dish! It looks rich and delicious!

  13. Chiara says:

    great idea Joumana !

  14. Alaiyo Kiasi says:

    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!

  15. Cherine says:

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

  16. Steve O says:

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

  17. Susan says:

    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 🙂

  18. zerrin says:

    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.

  19. dew says:

    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!

  20. Belinda @zomppa says:

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

  21. Jamie says:

    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!

  22. Katerina says:

    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!

  23. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

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

  24. sare says:

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

  25. Oui, Chef says:

    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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