Roasting eggplant is a simple way to enjoy this healthy vegetable. Using heart-healthy oil and fast, dry cooking makes this a nutritious, savory side dish.
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking oil spray
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash eggplant and trim ends. Peel and chop into 1-inch cubes.
- Arrange eggplant cubes in a single layer on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and allow to rest for about 30 minutes until moisture beads on the eggplant.
- Rinse off salt, drain and dry eggplant cubes.
- In a medium bowl, add the olive oil with the eggplant and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Toss to make sure that the eggplant is coated completely.
- Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread seasoned eggplant cubes onto pan in a single layer.
- Roast the eggplant until just fork tender, about 25 minutes, turning pieces over halfway through cooking time.
Smart Shopping Tips
- Choose eggplant with glossy skin free of blemishes. Reject any with shriveled skin or cuts. The cap should look green and fresh.
- A ripe eggplant will not be rock-hard, but will have a little “give” to light pressure.
- Smaller eggplants tend to have less bitterness than larger, older ones.
- While the skin of eggplant is edible, it may be tough on larger, older eggplant. Those are best peeled.
- Salting eggplant before cooking draws out some of the water and reduces bitterness. Smaller varieties of eggplant such as Chinese may not need this step. If you choose to salt before cooking, be sure to rinse off excess salt and pat dry.
- Eggplant slices (about 3/4 inch) can be grilled, too. Brush with a little canola oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and grill until tender, about 10 minutes.