How to Roast Eggplant

roasted eggplant
Foto: Amy Mason / Utopia

Roasted eggplant can be made using just five ingredients, and four easy steps! As an added bonus, keep scrolling for a simple tahini sauce to drizzle over the top.

Eggplants, also known as aubergines or brinjal, are a member of the nightshade family like tomatoes and potatoes. They are meaty in texture and have a wonderful ability to soak up flavors and oils, and can be prepared in many different ways, across a wide variety of cuisines. Stuffed, sauteèd, as a dip, stir-fried, steamed — the versatility seems endless! Roasted eggplant, however, is not only delicious but also incredibly simple and easy to adapt. 

Many traditional recipes for cooking or roasting eggplant suggest sprinkling with salt to draw out some moisture and remove the bitter taste. These days, you can usually skip this step, especially if you source fresh, organic, and local produce. Choose eggplants that feel heavy for their size, and have glossy skins. Read on for an easy step-by-step guide for roasted eggplant!

Roasted Eggplant: Step-by-Step

Choose eggplants that seem heavy for their size, which are firm to the touch, and with a glossy skin.
Choose eggplants that seem heavy for their size, which are firm to the touch, and with a glossy skin.
(Foto: Amy Mason / Utopia)

There is no need to peel an eggplant, the skin is edible but it does bruise easily. Be sure to cook the vegetable soon after slicing, dicing, or cubing, as the flesh will start to discolor quickly. You could combat this with a little lemon juice if prepping in advance. 

You can roast eggplant whole. This method makes it especially easy to scoop out the cooked flesh to create delicious dips like baba ganoush – just be sure to prick the skin with a fork beforehand. While delicious, roasting whole eggplant will increase the cooking time. The following method halves the vegetable to reduce energy. It’s not a bad idea to roast more than you need to be even more energy efficient, especially since you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

This will make enough roasted eggplant as a side dish for 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, organic eggplants
  • 1 bulb organic garlic, not peeled
  • 3 tbsp. good quality olive oil, or other cooking oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 organic lemon

1. Slice

Roased eggplant is simple and delicious. Be sure to use good quality ingredients
Roased eggplant is simple and delicious. Be sure to use good quality ingredients
(Foto: Amy Mason / Utopia)

Wash the eggplants and slice in half.

2. Score

Scoring the flesh speeds up the cooking time and ensures the whole vegetable is seasoned to perfection.
Scoring the flesh speeds up the cooking time and ensures the whole vegetable is seasoned to perfection.
(Foto: Amy Mason / Utopia)

Score through the flesh, but not through the skin in a criss-cross pattern. Lay in an oven-proof dish or baking tray, cut-side up. 

3. Season

Roasted garlic is never a bad accompaniment to roasted eggplant. Simply squeeze the flesh out once cooked.
Roasted garlic is never a bad accompaniment to roasted eggplant. Simply squeeze the flesh out once cooked.
(Foto: Amy Mason / Utopia)

Scatter the garlic cloves around the eggplants. Pour the olive oil over the eggplants, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Work some of the oil and seasoning into the deep cuts you just made.

4. Roast

Increase the cooking time if you would like a softer result, especially for roasted eggplant dips
Increase the cooking time if you would like a softer result, especially for roasted eggplant dips
(Foto: Amy Mason / Utopia)

Set the oven to 400F, and place the dish inside – there is no need to preheat the oven. Roast the eggplant halves for 30-40 minutes. Check with a fork: the flesh should be soft. Finish with a squeeze of lemon, and enjoy!

Optional Tahini Sauce for Roasted Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp. hot water
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. natural yogurt, or homemade oat yogurt 

Simply whisk everything together, drizzle over the roasted eggplants, and enjoy!

Serve warm, or cold. You could also get inventive with different herbs and spices. Eggplants can handle a lot of flavor! Try adding a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme before roasting. A dusting of smoked paprika would also be delicious. 

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