Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Roasted Eggplant with Olive and Red Pepper Tapenade [Zack]

Lauren and I love roasted eggplant (or aubergine for you Europeans).  The texture and flavor make it a great substitute for meat if you are trying to do the "Meatless Monday" thing.

This recipe is very simple - it takes you less than 5 minutes of active cooking time.  You'll cross-hatch and roast the eggplant for flavor, then add more flavor on top and finish it in the oven.  You can even pre-make these a few days before a dinner party and then throw them back into the oven to finish.

These roasted eggplant halves work great as a healthy side dish to accompany a wintery meal, or they can be the star of the show if you serve them with a simple salad.


First, heat up your oven to 400F / 200C.  Wash your eggplants, remove the top, and slice them in 1/2 longways.  With a sharp knife, cut into the flesh of the eggplant about 1 inch deep, keeping the skin intact.

Then, place the halves on a baking dish and rub them with a light amount of olive oil.  No real need to salt the eggplant as the olive tapenade contains salt.  Place them in the oven, cross-hatched side up and roast until they develop a nice browned surface and have softened throughout.  It should take about 15-20 minutes.

While this is going, mix together your equal amounts of olive tapenade, and roasted red pepper tapenade in a bowl.  Once the eggplant comes out, spoon the mixture over the cut side and work it into the crevices.

It is now ready to go back into the oven to develop some color on the tapenade and to heat everything through.  It should take another 5-10 minutes.

Garnish with some fresh parsley and serve!

  • eggplants, halved

(per eggplant)
  • 1T green olive tapenade
  • 1T roasted red pepper tapenade
  • freshly minced parsley

Creativity options:
  • top the tapenades with breadcrumbs and a brushing of olive oil for a nice crunch
  • mix in some goat cheese
  • add 1/4 minced anchovy filet and a few minced capers into the tapenade for a depth of flavor
  • you can even substitute some pulled pork or pulled beef for the tapenades, adding cheese and a nice cumin-y thick tomato sauce.

Song to cross-hatch to:  James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream
The Wilhelm Scream by James Blake on Grooveshark

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