Roasted Baby Eggplant

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I was never a big fan of eggplant. I don’t like the meaty texture of most dishes, or the slippery consistency of over-blended American baba ganoush. Then I came across Japanese eggplant, baby eggplant, ‘Orient Express’ eggplant…who knew?! My favorite recipes celebrate seasonal ingredients that you can really taste, and this one is flavorful, yet delicate. It’s a great side to dinners with a Middle Eastern flavor, and is fantastic eaten cold the next day topped with over-easy eggs. It turns out, I love eggplant!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Even though Katie doesn’t like the meat-like texture of some eggplant dishes, it is precisely this taste and texture that some vegetarians count on to give substance to main dish recipes (think yummy, comforting eggplant lasagna)! The nutritional benefits of eggplant are legion: they are high in fiber, low in calories, naturally low in cholesterol, a great source of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese, and that lovely purple color holds a host of phytochemicals, including anthocyanidins, a compound thought to have a protective function against some cancers and heart disease. Eggplant is also versatile: it can be roasted, broiled, grilled or sauteed. The possibilities are endless!

By Karen Tayeh, Nutritionist
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Roasted Baby Eggplant

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

6 baby or small Japanese eggplants (about 3 pounds)

1 lemon

2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

6 sprigs fresh oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, cutting only about 3/4 of the way through so eggplant halves remain attached at the top.
  3. Arrange eggplants in a 9×13 inch baking dish or pan.
  4. Thinly slice three slices of lemon, and cut slices in half. Insert the lemon slices into the slit of each eggplant.
  5. Press some garlic and oregano into each slit.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Drizzle eggplants with oil and juice from remaining half lemon.
  8. Cover with foil and roast, basting frequently with the juices in the dish, until the eggplants are very soft, about 35 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and roast for 5 more minutes. Transfer to individual plates and top with pan juices.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, cutting only about 3/4 of the way through so eggplant halves remain attached at the top. Arrange eggplants in a 9×13 inch baking dish or pan. Thinly slice three slices of lemon, and cut slices in half. Insert the lemon slices into the slit of each eggplant. Press some garlic and oregano into each slit. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle eggplants with oil and juice from remaining half lemon. Cover with foil and roast, basting frequently with the juices in the dish, until the eggplants are very soft, about 35 minutes. Remove foil and roast for 5 more minutes. Transfer to individual plates and top with pan juices.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 150; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 280mg; Potassium: 822mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 0g

Nutrition Bonus:  Vit C: 10%; Iron: 2%

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