Roasted eggplant is extremely flavorful and a healthy snack best eaten on crusty bread or over a salad with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or drizzled with balsamic vinegar. With eggplant selling for less than a $1.00 a pound you can purchase a large eggplant cheaply; another plus, there is virtually no clean up.
Preparing eggplant for roasting
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
STEP 2: Cut eggplant in half and score it with deep cuts that do not pierce the skin. Add 1 tbsp of salt into the cuts and let the eggplant rest for 20 minutes.
STEP 3: Top right image shows how the eggplant will sweat (click image to enlarge); squeeze it to release the excess water the salt has drawn out. This will remove the bitter taste of the eggplant and help quicken the roasting process.
STEP 4: Combine 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of thyme for additional flavoring and brush the salted eggplant liberally; if you are going to roast garlic I like to also add the garlic cloves in the remaining oil and thyme.
STEP 5: As shown in the last photo (from the series above) flip the brushed eggplant halves on parchment paper (I also place two basil leaves on the parchment that the eggplant will cover – I love basil). Cook for 45 minutes.