Roasting Eggplant

I’ve decided to start with something simple but somewhat obscure – the eggplant.  Simple, because its is easy to prepare. Obscure, because eggplant is just not something that usually pops into your mind when discussing food.

Ingredients:

1 eggplant
kosher salt
extra virgin olive oil

Process:

Slice off both ends. Slice remaining eggplant into ~1/4 thick slices. These don’t have to be perfect, but the more consistent you are in slicing the more consistent they’ll be in roasting. Some people like to slice length-wise, but I prefer to cut them like I’m creating eggplant cookies (and its easier to maintain consistency).

Lay the slices out on a flat surface. Sprinkle slices with kosher salt. This should be a light dusting, not a winter storm. Take a colander and line the insides with the eggplant slices (salt side down).  Now dust the other side of the eggplant as it sits in the colander.  Place the colander in the sink or in a bowl large enough to collect anything that may drain away.  Let it sit from anywhere to 30 minutes to an hour.

So what is the deal with the salt and the colander?  Eggplants are bitter by nature. If you slice it, sprinkle it with salt and set it aside the salt will draw out some of the bitterness. That’s all I’m trying to do here… make it less bitter. BTW, the pictured colander is lousy and I’ve been told Santa has promised me a better one.

If you placed your colander in a bowl you should have some nasty looking, brown liquid in the bottom (pour it out).  The amount will vary so don’t freak if its not more than a tablespoon or two. If there’s none, then you didn’t use enough salt. Remove the eggplant from the colander and pat dry using paper towels.

Pre-heat your oven to 450º.

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the eggplant on the sheet as if you were baking cookies (you can place the eggplant directly on the cookie sheet, but I cover mine with aluminum foil for easier cleanup).

Time for the olive oil.  There are two methods for applying olive oil to the eggplant.  One is using a basting brush (which I don’t have).  The other is to drizzle it on and smear it around with your fingers (fingers I do have).  If you are using the latter method, you must be quick because the eggplant will quickly absorb the olive oil.  Try to drizzle evenly and spread quickly.  You don’t want to drown it. Just cover it like you were greasing a pan. Cover one side and then flip the slices over and cover the other.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Time will vary according to thickness of the slices (those pictured are a tad too thick), but what you want to look for is the purple skin crinkling up (like an over cooked hot dog).

The above image is not the greatest, but I hope you can see how the edges have started to curl.  This indicates that they’re done. If you applied the oil correctly, the slices should slide easily off the sheet.

So where do we go from here?  You could insert the slices in a tomato gratin (future post), you could add them to a pasta sauce or you could chop them up for sandwiches (which is what I’ve chosen to do).  I don’t have everything I need for sandwiches on hand so I’m simply going to rough chop the eggplant slices and store them in the fridge.

It may not appear appetizing all chopped to bits, but believe me it will deliver on taste.

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~ by Genevieve on 2009.12.25.

2 Responses to “Roasting Eggplant”

  1. […] you stay with me because the results are essential for a follow up recipe (tomorrow). Much like roasted eggplant, poached chicken can go in many directions (and no, I have not forgotten the follow up recipes for […]

  2. […] the eggplant, follow the steps I outlined in my post on roasting eggplant. The garlic I sprinkle over the pizza vs. mixing it with the olive oil for preping the eggplant […]

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