Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant

Details

This simple, yet highly flavorful eggplant is one recipe that should be in everyones repertoire. Eggplant halves are baked with fresh thyme until they are tender and creamy.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Views: 16,683
  • Success Rating: 25% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Salting the Eggplant

• 2 lb eggplant (approx 2 globe or 4 Italian)
• 1 to 2 tsp sea salt

Method

To salt the eggplant, simply slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Then using the tip of a knife, score the flesh in a diamond cross-hatch pattern. Make sure that you go quite deep, but not so deep that you cut through the flesh.

Next press open the cuts and sprinkle the eggplant halves with the salt. Set aside for approximately 30 minutes.

Salting the eggplants draws out their moisture and makes them less like sponges when it comes to oiling them.

Step 2: Roasting & Serving the Eggplant

• lemon wedges or vinaigrette (optional)
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
• 8 sprigs fresh thyme

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

To prepare the eggplant for roasting, gently squeeze the eggplant to remove the salty water — you may want to do this over the sink or over a bowl. Then wipe the eggplant with paper towel to dry them off a bit.

Next, brush the halves of the eggplant with olive oil, if using. Then place the eggplant, cut side down, on top of a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme on the baking tray.

Roast for 1 hour, or until the eggplant collapses and the underside is a rich brown caramel color.

Once done, let cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. before handling,

To serve, gently turn the eggplant cut side up and squeeze with some fresh lemon juice or drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette. If using with another dish, scoop out the flesh, using a large spoon.

Chef's Notes

You can roast either small Italian eggplants and serve them as a side dish, drizzled with lemon juice or you can roast larger globe eggplants and use the flesh to add flavor to things like pastas and soups.

6 Comments

  • Catherine S
    Catherine S
    Love this method. Small Italian Eggplants make a superb side dish with fresh pesto pasta! Did you mean to wipe the eggplant (instead of whip)? with paper towel? Thanks for all the great inspiration with the recipes.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Hello, Catherine! Great to know you enjoyed it! And, thank you for the feedback...all fixed!
  • Sunnie S
    Sunnie S
    I roasted my eggplant for 50 minutes at 400 degrees and while beautiful (nice, golden brown all over), they were extremely mushy/soft. Almost the consistency of a roasted garlic clove (could spread on a crostini). They were not watery at all - just mushy. With this consistency, I don't think it would be appropriate to serve these as an entree. Assuming I can simply roast for less time to yield a more fork tender result? As far as the flavor, the seasoning was perfect; not too salty and the thyme really came through nicely. The squeeze of lemon brought it to life.
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    HI Sunnie. Thanks for your feedback and comment. You can dial back the time if you reach an adequate texture before our directed time, good instinct. I love taking a really creamy eggplant and blending it with tahini and garlic to make baba ghanoush. If you prefer more of a bite, dial back the time but be careful to ensure that it is still soft and tender. Yum! Lauren
  • Patricia H
    Patricia H
    ohhhh my goodness I cooked this tonight and almost want to go cook another :) drizzled balsamic reduction before and after baking - ate like a baked potato and it feels and tastes amazing!
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Patricia: Great description on the eggplant. You might want to try it with barbecue sauce for another delicious experience. Always a pleasure to hear from you! Cheers, Char

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