Read on to learn how to roast eggplant and see how easy it is to put together this middle eastern-inspired dish!
I think we can all agree that eggplant is a polarizing vegetable. It’s certainly not your universally-loved tomato and even in spite its raunchy emoji reputation, it still doesn’t have the sex appeal of the fashionable avocado. But I would like to take a moment to prove all the eggplant-haters wrong. Hear me out…
Many people steer clear of eggplant because it can be watery, bitter, greasy, and/or bland – and to be fair, these reasons are valid. But eggplant is actually very easy to coax into deliciousness, as long as you follow a few simple steps. I’m partial to the roasting method because it combats all four of these issues.
Here’s how to roast eggplant:
- Salt it: eggplant contains a lot of moisture, which contributes to its wateriness and bitterness. To draw out the excess water, salt the eggplant and set it aside for 30 minutes to drain.
- Rinse it and pat it dry.
- Brush it with oil and season with salt: this helps it caramelize and ensures you won’t end up with bland eggplant.
- Roast it at 375ºF (190ºC): this temperature is gentle enough to soften the eggplant and cook it evenly, yet strong enough to get it nicely browned.
This delicious summery recipe was inspired by a sleepy, après-redeye lunch Rene and I had at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi during a layover in London.
Ottolenghi is known for complex middle eastern flavors and creative ways with vegetables, and seems to have a particular affinity for eggplant. One of the dishes we ordered at lunch was this creamy, smoky roasted eggplant with a cool sauce and crunchy nuts, and I knew I’d have to recreate it at home.
This roasted eggplant recipe turns out incredibly delicious. After 30 minutes of roasting, the eggplant becomes rich and fragrant, almost buttery in texture, and the nuttiness of the tahini sauce makes the perfect complement. The crunchy almonds add contrast and the parsley lends a bright, herby freshness. I hope you love it as much as I do!Print
This vegan roasted eggplant dish is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi restaurant in London.
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant (about 2 medium or 3 small), trimmed and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
- Sea salt
- ½ cup raw sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 to 4 tablespoons filtered water
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- About ¼ cup torn flat-leaf parsley
- Layer the eggplant into a colander, sprinkling each layer generously with salt, using about 2 teaspoons of salt in total. Top with a plate and weigh it down with something heavy (like 2 cans). Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Meanwhile, place the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until lightly golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and toss to coat. Add the paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and has a pourable consistency (at first it may seem like nothing’s happening, but keep whisking and it’ll come together); add more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Set aside.
- Rinse off the eggplant and pat it dry with a kitchen towel. Arrange it in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with oil and season with a pinch of salt. Flip and brush and season the other side. Roast until the eggplant is lightly browned and soft, 30 to 35 minutes, flipping the slices once halfway through cooking.
- To serve, arrange the eggplant on a platter, drizzle with the tahini sauce, season with pepper, and top with the spiced almonds and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 176
- Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
- Fiber: 22 g
- Protein: 4.6 g
Keywords: eggplant, tahini, almonds, parsley, israeli recipes, ottolenghi