Eggplant. It's the omnipresent vegetarian staple. Yet, it is so often mistreated. Soggy, lifeless and rubbery. It's not an easy vegetable to cook with. It takes a little bit of planning and effort. But, really, not that much.
First, I pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees. It's best to salt the eggplant before attempting to do anything with it. I thinly sliced the eggplant, crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds, threw it into a colander and drenched it in salt. This helps to leech out the bitterness. After about a half hour, I proceeded to pour a good amount of olive oil on the sliced eggplant. (About 1/2 cup for two medium sized eggplants) And a good sprinklin of sea salt again. I lined a sheet tray with parchment paper (so the eggplant doesn't stick to the tray) and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Some recipes I looked at said it would take only 20 min, but my eggplant was still tough after 20. I did have to add more olive oil because eggplant is like a sponge and will dry out if you don't slather it well enough. When it's done, it should look super moist and much smaller in size. After it was done, I added some tahini, juice of half a lemon, some more sea salt and a little bit of cracked pepper. Simple, yet so mouthwateringly tasty. My roommate Kaitlin and I had gone to the farmer's market earlier and purchased some really good rosemary focaccia. A perfect complement to the earthy texture of the roasted eggplant.
Mini roasted eggplant on focaccia from the farmer's market down the street:
I had forgotten to take a picture of the roasted eggplant until there was only one lone mini sandwich left. My friend Kip commented that it looks like the sandwich is going for a swim on my blue cutting board. Adorable.