Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Roasted Eggplant

I've finally discovered that just because the Monster doesn't like eggplant, doesn't mean I can't just make it for myself. Specially since they come in all sorts of groovy shapes and sizes! When I first made this "recipe" I used paler purple, long skinny Japanese eggplants. This time I found a cute 6" tall globe eggplant and it cooked up just as nicely. I went a little longer in the oven since it was fatter than the others. Just watch your time depending on how big your eggplant is. The smaller ones tend to be less seedy, and therefore less prone to tasting bitter. Also, look for a smaller green cap and firm, shiny skin.

Roasted Eggplant with Thyme:

Eggplant (as many as you'd like to roast)
Kosher salt
olive oil
fresh thyme sprigs
fresh lemon juice to serve (optional)

Slice eggplant in half from it's top to it's bottom. Make deep crosshatching slashes almost to the skin. Salt each half with Kosher salt, getting it all the way down into the cuts.
Let eggplant sit, cut side up for 30 minutes.

~15 minutes into the salting process, pre-heat oven to 400.

Squeeze liquid from eggplant over the sink and wipe away the excess salt. I tend to rinse the eggplants so they're not too salty, but the original recipe didn't have you do that. Just make sure to really squeeze all the water/liquid from them well and dry with a paper towel.
Brush cuts sides with olive oil and place several sprigs of thyme on each before placing cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
I tend to lightly oil the skins of the eggplant too.
Roast for 20-45+ minutes depending on the shape/size of your eggplant. I like them nice and soft but not mushy, but whatever floats your boat.
They're lovely with a little lemon squeezed over them.

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