Roasted eggplant is a quick and easy side dish. The olive oil gives a nice caramelized flavor. Within 30 minutes you will have perfectly tender bites of eggplant.
This is one of my go to side dishes because it is so quick and easy to make. I find that I need just a little taste every few seconds once they have come out of the oven Lo and behold 5 minutes later and I almost don’t have enough for dinner. As a matter of fact I had to stop myself so I had enough to take a photograph for you to see!
Roasted eggplant, yes please!
Eggplant is one of those vegetables that you see at the store and either are ignored or have no clue how to prepare or what to do with them. This is a great use for them and what is even better is that you can use all kinds of eggplant.
There are many different varieties of eggplant and some of the more common ones are Chinese, Fairy Tale, Globe/American, Graffiti, Japanese, Indian, Italian, Thai. While there are still quite a few more around these are the ones you will tend to find a little bit more easily or grown. I grow Japanese and Fairy Tale egglpant.
The best wat to tell that an eggplant is fresh is that the skin is shiny, the fruit is firm, and it feels heavier than you would expect it to for its size. Eggplants will start to dry out from the inside before the skin starts to really look wrinkled and the weight is a good indicator. This will still be a reasonably light fruit so don’t expect something to be as heavy as a melon.
Why so much oil?
These fruits contain quite a bit of water even though once sliced they look rather dry. It is important to leave the skin of the eggplant on while cooking to add some stability. If the skin is removed they will turn almost to mush. Another way to combat this is to use a very hot oven and a lot of oil. By using the oil it will cause that lovely caramelization. However there will be a lot of oil. If not enough is used the caramelization will not happen and the eggplant will become mush.
Looking for other vegetable sides?
Simple Caramelized Roasted Eggplant
- Lined sheet pan
- 1½ lbs eggplant cubed
- 1 tbsp thyme fresh
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 450°F or gas mark 8.
- In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the eggplant and toss to coat evenly. Make sure all sides are coated.
- Spread the eggplant over the lined sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes. Halfway through baking turn the eggplant to expose non-caramelized sides.
- Serve while piping hot.