Four-Thumbs-Up Roasted Eggplant

OK – I can hear some of you groaning from here: “Roasted eggplant? You’ve got to be kidding me – my kid won’t eat that!”

So don’t call it “roasted eggplant.” Call it roasted dinosaur eggs, or roasted purple plant, or whatever it takes to get you and yours to give this dish a try.

Then you’ll know why both my kiddos give this roasted eggplant recipe two thumbs up.

Especially in the middle of winter, there’s nothing that says home cooking and comfort food like roasted vegetables. But the fact that most roasted veggies take hours to get that way means they are not part of my cooking repertoire.

But this recipe for roasted eggplant, inspired by an invention of my mother’s, takes less than a half-hour from start to finish – and most of that is cooking time. And it’s so simple, it’s practically foolproof.

And if you’re not a fan of roasted veggies because you find them too leathery or dried out, rest assured – this one is still moist and delicious when it’s done.roasted eggplant

Four-Thumbs-Up Roasted Eggplant

Servings vary; 5-10 min prep time; 20 min cook time; 25-30 min total time

roasted eggplant ingredientsThe basic idea:

One large or two medium eggplant (really, use as much as you like)

Italian salad dressing

Large mixing bowl

Large baking sheet (note: a jelly roll pan works best, but any sheet with edges will do)

Cooking parchment, aluminum foil, silicone liners, or nonstick cooking spray (to line the baking sheet)

peeling eggplant to roastPreheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel eggplant; cut into bite-sized cubes (roughly 1 inch). Put cubed eggplant into mixing bowl. Drizzle with dressing; try approx. 2T to 1/4 c., depending on how much cubed eggplant you have, and add more as needed. Toss eggplant to coat evenly with dressing.tossing eggplant with dressing

Line baking sheet with parchment/foil/liner, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread coated eggplant evenly in a single layer on baking sheet.eggplant ready to roast

Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 min. Stir gently and rearrange into a single layer on baking sheet. Bake another 10 min. Serve hot.

Mix it up:

Instead of Italian dressing, mix and match from the list below:

  • Olive oil (drizzled on, or misted if you have an oil mister) and Italian seasoning
  • Nonstick cooking spray and salt/pepper or garlic salt
  • Your favorite cooking oil and fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • Your favorite oil-based salad dressing
  • Olive oil and dry salad dressing mix (e.g., powdered Italian dressing seasoning)
  • Olive oil and dry soup mix (e.g. lemon-herb)

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