I absolutely love eggplant, but I am the only one in my family that does. I have gone for decades eggplant-deprived. That is, until I realized I could easily make eggplant and have it as a side dish, or an antipasto, or add it to individual pasta servings (mine), omelettes (mine), pizzas (mine), or just have it as a snack!
I have felt sometimes too lazy to make eggplant, because I don’t like the idea of having to salt it first to let it “sweat”, and then wipe the salt off, yadda yadda yadda. Well, I just discovered that you don’t have to do that anymore! Not sure if this is 100% true, but I read somewhere that the new varieties of eggplant no longer require this tedious step. So once I read that, I looked online for an easy recipe and found this one, from Minimalist Baker.
It seemed easy enough, and who doesn’t love roasted, caramelized cubes of eggplant? Okay, don’t answer that question. I made the eggplant recipe as instructed, and we were having some guests over for dinner that were vegan, so I thought this would make a nice addition to the table. However, the little cubes of eggplant ended up charred and almost inedible! Funny, our guests still ate it, because apparently I’m not the only one that loves eggplant!
So next time I made it, I made some changes to the recipe. Mainly, I cut the eggplant into huge chunks! They seem way too big at first, but they do shrink down a lot after baking. Since the chunks were so big, I upped the oven temperature a bit, and the results were just what I wanted.
I also don’t like trying to toss veggies once they are on the baking tray, so I put the chunks into a large glass bowl to toss with the olive oil.
Because the chunks were nice and large, they were easy to spread out on the baking sheet with room between for even browning. My daughter Millie made this one time, and she put all the pieces skin side down to start, and I liked that idea so much that now I do it like that every time!
After roasting for 20 minutes in a 450° oven, I flip the pieces over, skin side up, and roast for ten more minutes. What you end up with is so delicious! Warning though, the skin side is a bit tough at first, but softens to a nice chew after a few minutes.
I like to keep the roasted eggplant (what’s left of it) in the fridge so I can eat it at will; it’s good hot, room temp, cold, you name it. I have to make up for lost time, you see.
(Adapted from Minimalist Baker’s recipe)
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 450°, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim ends of the eggplant, cut into 2″ thick slices, then quarter the slices. You will end up with approximately 16 large pieces.
- In a large bowl, drizzle the pieces of eggplant with olive oil, approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt or other type of flake salt, and toss again.
- Place eggplant pieces skin side down on lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and flip the pieces so the skin side is up, and bake for 10 more minutes. Enjoy as a side dish, as a nice addition to an antipasto plate, or added to pasta sauces or pizzas. To enjoy later, once cool, store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
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