Raw Eggplant Salad ♥ Recipe

Can eggplant be eaten raw? Yes!
Today's unusual salad recipe: Small pieces of raw eggplant tossed with celery, olives and capers. Surprisingly pleasant! Vegan. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.

So. Can we eat raw eggplant? Yes! Do we want to eat raw eggplant? Yes again.

The inspiration for this simple summer salad came from a few slices of eggplant leftover from another recipe, just hanging out there on the counter whispering, "Try us, try us, we'll taste great, maybe." They'd been dipped in nothing more than olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper. How would the raw eggplant taste? Good!

The eggplant's white flesh is pleasantly spongy (definitely NOT mushy) and the skin provides great texture as well as color contrast. I do think that texture's especially important to consider when adding other ingredients, you don't want the whole salad to be soft, some crispness is important.

I also suspect that the more-tender Asian eggplant is the appropriate choice here, versus the big fat globe eggplants that are easier to find, at least in my supermarkets here in St. Louis. I do see Asian eggplant occasionally at Dierbergs but my local Schnucks added them when I asked, but dropped them when they didn't sell. I once compared several eggplants, their photos are here with the recipe for Eggplant Caviar.

UPDATE: I've learned from a reader/friend that like green tomatoes and green potatoes, raw eggplant contains a natural chemical called solanine that can upset the tummy! If yours is sensitive, you might choose another recipe.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 2 cups (easily adjusted for fewer or more servings)

Juice of a lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon good olive oil
Agave or honey to taste (I used about a teaspoon)
Salt & pepper to taste

1 Asian eggplant (those are the long slim ones)
1/2 - 1 rib celery, chopped small
Kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1 - 2 tablespoons capers
Fresh basil, chopped

VINAIGRETTE In a bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients.

SALAD Trim the ends off the eggplants. Lengthwise, cut the eggplants in quarters; cross-wise, cut the eggplants about 1/4-inch thick. Drop the eggplant into the vinaigrette and stir well. Stir the eggplant off and on while prepping the other ingredients, you want the pieces to soak up the vinaigrette. Toss in the remaining ingredients. Serve and savor!

OTHER IDEAS Red pepper, mini mozzarella balls, grated carrot, chopped fennel

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Eggplant is one of those vegetables that people tend to overcook and then drown in sauces, so this concept presents a fresh alternative! Btw, I don't stop to say it often, but you have a GREAT site. I follow only two recipe sites regularly. I've tried and rejected plenty others. Yours is a keeper. Thank you!

  2. I've never seen a recipe for raw eggplant. But to Sandy's point, Thai eggplant is one of the few that is better "al dente". I bet it would be good in this recipe too.

  3. Very interesting idea. I've never heard of eating eggplant raw, but in about a month I'll have tons of it, so I'll have to try it!

  4. never tried eating eggplant raw ...like this recipe

  5. Oooo yes! Last week I had one of these skinny ones cut up and tasted a little cube and thought it was very nice but I hadn't gotten to the point of doing anything more with the idea. Must try something like this.
    I'm over-run with basil, so it will have to have basil ;)

  6. do you have to salt it or anything? that sounds awesome, i've never even thought to try eggplant raw!!

  7. Sandy ~ Thanks SO much for your kind words, they mean the world.

    Julia ~ I hadn't either but was most impressed!

    Kalyn ~ Yes we have little eggplants just now beginning to show, too.

    Rahin ~ Excellent!

    Tanna ~ I thought of you when I was making this salad, with < basil > of course.

    VeggieVixen ~ No, no salt, except in the vinaigrette. Just try a little nibble, raw, plain, the next time you have an eggplant.

  8. Note that raw aubergine/eggplant (as well as 'green' potatoes and unripe tomatoes) contain solanine, a toxin that can lead to upset stomach in some people.
    Apparently there's a Thai eggplant (small and greenish) that's fine, so use that one :)

  9. I used to think you couldn't raw broccoli until one day I was very pleasantly surprised...now once again I thought you surely couldn't eat raw eggplant but you are proving me wrong again. Looks great!! Must try soon.

  10. Thanks for the great recipe. It's rare to see people using raw eggplant. It seems like a great alternative for those of us who hate turning on our oven in the summer.

  11. I just tried japanese eggplant for the first time. I would have never thought to try it raw. Great recipe suggestion, I'm going to try it this week!

  12. I am in Asia, trying to improvise a salad in my hotel room.. used the tiny white aubergine as per your suggestions - fresh, and it was very good! thanks!

  13. This was a great recipe! I didn't have the best looking celery so I substituted for some cucumber and for the dressing I used truffle infused olive oil (amazing :D) thank you!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna