The gorgeous fruits of summer's bounty are a delight to the eye but a challenge to the cook. How to use not just one eggplant, but six or eight all at once? And the tomatoes just keep on coming, despite numerous batches of sauce. This sets off a search for dishes that use several of these fruits of summer at once.
Middle Eastern and "Mediterranean" dishes are a great source for such recipes. Every summer I know that when the eggplants come in, I'll be making my favorite lamb and eggplant stew from Claudia Roden's classic A Book of Middle Eastern Food (it has since come out in a revised version but I cling to my old one).
Note that most recipes in this book, and many other recipes using eggplant, call for sprinkling the cut eggplant with salt and then draining it after awhile. I think this may have been intended to cut the "bitter factor" from the eggplant. However, I do not use the large eggplants but rather a smaller variety, Neon. There are many varieties of pear-shaped eggplant that are similar but I have found this one to be sweet and mild even when fairly mature. I never use the pre-salting technique.