Oh we love ourselves some roasted eggplant. So often in cooking we overwork and even overcomplicate ingredients that are quite wonderful all on their own. Certainly we humans love to push the limits with food and create novel eatables and lovely layered dishes, but sometimes we overlook simple, elegant preparation that is equally enticing. Additionally, good food that is easy to prepare makes cooking nutritious food and sticking to a healthy eating plan far easier to do.
One of our favourites for simple preparation is the roasted eggplant or aubergine. Sure, we can wrap our minds and forks around a fantastic eggplant parmigiana, but these beautiful purple globes are tasty and healthy without the frying, breading and cheese. Many of the friends we talk to avoid purchasing or cooking with eggplant because they think it requires multiple steps to get to something edible. Certainly some recipes call for draining or soaking eggplant but we have found roasted eggplant does quite well with little more than olive oil and garlic.
If you are entertaining, the roasted halved aubergines look deceptively impressive plated on a pretty platter. Serve the roasted eggplant on their own or top with a little balsamic drizzle, crumbled goat cheese and some toasted pinenuts. Or alternately, warm a little quality tomato sauce and top with that and a scant dusting of shaved parmesan for those of us following a low calorie eating plan.
2 eggplants with nice firm & glossy exteriors
half a lemon
2 pieces of garlic sliced
salt & pepper
Wash your aubergines and pat dry. Slice the fruit lengthwise in half, it is a fruit by the way, a berry to be exact. Drizzle just a bit of olive oil on the bottom of a roasting dish and lay eggplant flesh side up in the pan. Use a knife to make a space to push in a few garlic slices into the surface of each aubergine. Rub surface with squeezed lemon to prevent discolouration and add a bit of flavour. Generously drizzle with olive oil using clean hands to disperse oil over the surface of the eggplant’s flesh. Salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until flesh is mostly collapsed, soft with pierced with a fork and golden.
We love these served one-half aubergine per person and seldom do we find we ever have any leftovers but if you do, the eggplant (minus the top) can be blended to create baba ganoush, a delicious Mediterranean dip that works well with pita or bread. Likewise, you can also slice the roasted aubergine for sandwiches or top pasta with the pieces of eggplant and tomato sauce.