I am a fan of quick-roasting — slicing vegetables thinly or cutting them into small pieces, tossing with oil and salt, spreading them out on sheet pans and cooking in a hot (425-degree) oven until browned and cooked through. This method brings great flavor (and a little bit of texture) to eggplant, and the resulting slices are delicious right off the sheet pan or used in lots of ways. I add them to savory tarts, toasts, pastas, and salads.

But one of my favorite ways to use these roasted eggplant slices is layered with either fresh mozzarella or goat cheese, tomatoes (roasted, fresh, or sundried), and fresh basil leaves. I garnish those with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and serve them as an appetizer or sometimes with baby greens as a salad. You can even make “stacks” for a fun presentation. No matter what you do, I think you’ll find this method for cooking eggplant will help you use up those random pretty eggplants you’ve been tempted by at the summer farmers’ market.

This method will work with any kind of eggplant.

Yields as much as you like.

  • Skin-on eggplant (any amount)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

 

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a heavy rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. If eggplant skin bothers you, score the eggplant with a fork before slicing it. (By scoring I mean running the fork down the length of the eggplant all the way around. You will need to apply pressure for the fork to break the skin.) Cut the eggplant crosswise into ½-inch slices.

3. Arrange the eggplant slices in one layer on the baking sheet. Brush both the tops and the bottoms of the slices generously with oil. Sprinkle kosher salt across the tops.

4. Roast, flipping once and rotating the sheet pan if necessary, until the slices are well-browned, about 24 to 28 minutes, depending on the type of eggplant. They will be somewhat crisp around the edges and very tender.

Let cool and enjoy or use in other preparations.