Monday, August 31, 2009

Roasted eggplant with rosemary focaccia

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. 


  1. It looks so lonely! Did you eat it so it could join the others? And it sounds delicious--we've only grilled eggplant, and Larry's version comes out too charred for me. I'm going to try this. I wonder if you could roast for 20 minutes at 400?

  2. It looks so lonely! Did you eat it so it could join the others?

    I haven't tried roasting eggplant but will now. Larry's grilled eggplant comes out too charred for me. I wonder if it would be done in 20 minutes if you turned up the oven to 400? The tahini sounds like a great complement to it.

  3. Definitely, that makes more sense actually to just increase the temperature! Thanks for the comments Katherine!