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Purple overload: Roasted eggplants

This is the first time I’ve had an eggplant deluge. They even arrived before the tomatoes or chili peppers decided to ripen. Having them in the Very Hot bed with southern exposure helps, I bet — along with El Niño slowing down the remaining nightshade plants this year.

During the cold months I develop a serious hankering for this purple fruit that it got me thinking of a way to preserve this summer’s generosity. Actually, I don’t know whether there’ll be eggplants left over, because I’ve been eating them up soon after cooking them. But just in case, roasting then freezing them turns out to be an easy way to create eggplant insurance.

Two kinds of eggplants, washed.The nearly black ones are the Japanese “Oriental” variety; the lighter magenta ones with the green sepals are “Pingtung Long,” a Thai variety

The eggplants I’ve used are the thinner Asian varieties pictured above. The larger globe style eggplants would take longer, I’d imagine (30 to 60 minutes, perhaps). Following the advice from this Washington Post article, I didn’t bother pre-salting the fruits. I think I’ve been lucky enough so far to have fresh, young enough fruit that haven’t yet developed bitterness in the seeds or skin. (I might change my mind with the fruits at the end of the season!)

Oh, here’s another encouraging eggplant article with more suggestions.

Before roastingBefore roasting, stems trimmed, fruit poked and sepals removed.


  • a bunch of eggplants
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF to 425ºF degrees. I used the “convection roast” setting at 400ºF. Line a roasting pan or dish with a non-stick silicone mat, or with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse off the eggplants, and trim down their sepals and stems. Poke each one several times with a sharp knife or fork, so they don’t explode while cooking.
  3. Lightly coat each eggplant with the oil. A little goes a long way — I’ve used less than 1 tablespoon for over a dozen eggplants. The oil helps prevent sticking and scorching. Place them on the prepared pan, then put it in the oven.
  4. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until quite soft. Midway through roasting, turn over the eggplants with a pair of tongs, in order to cook evenly and reduce the chance of burning the skin.
  5. Serve(*), or cool to room temperature and freeze. You can also store them in the fridge for a few days.

(*) I’ve yet to go beyond the “cut in half, sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with garlic oil and balsamic vinegar” scenario for consuming them. So simple and tasty! But I bet they’d be great in sandwiches, pizzas, dips or stews.

After roasting.After being roasted, they’re more mustard yellow and brown than purple!

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