Published January 22, 2013 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
File this away under “good to know” kitchen tips. Recently, I made a cooked salad that required fried eggplant cubes. I don’t like frying eggplant. It soaks up oil like a sponge, which means you end up using a lot more oil than you would normally need for other vegetables. The frying process can also be somewhat messy. I decided to roast the cubed eggplant instead, tossing it with a little olive oil and putting it in a hot oven till tender. The results were spectacular. I love roasting other vegetables like cauliflower and beets, so naturally eggplant works the same way. The eggplant developed a natural sweetness in the oven, a depth of flavor I’ve never achieved from frying. Some pieces caramelized on the edges, adding extra flavor. I ate it up like finger food; all it needed was a little salt to offset the sweetness. Of course, you can add black pepper or any number of seasonings during the roasting process to give it a different flavor.
I can imagine all kinds of uses for these delectable cubes of roasted eggplant. So far, I’ve tried substituting it for fried eggplant in cooked salads (like Mooshi’s Eggplant Salad), which works great. I’ve added it to a cold mixed green salad; it makes the salad more filling without adding a lot of calories. I’ve simmered it for a few minutes in curry sauce and served it as a vegetarian entree. I’ve also used it as a pasta substitute. Top the eggplant with marinara or bolognese sauce for a lower carb, gluten free, more nutritious alternative to pasta. My husband likes his topped with a little Greek yogurt, labneh, or tahini sauce. You can also roast eggplant rounds, like I do in this recipe for Vegetable Moussaka. The possibilities are endless!
If you want to roast eggplant for a dip like babaganoush, the process is different. Click here for a complete tutorial.
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Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...