Baked eggplant is a classic healthy dish that's easy to prepare in its basic form. Many people avoid roasting eggplants because, if not careful, the eggplants can turn out to be greasy and soggy. Here's how to bake eggplants to get the right texture - soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- Preparation time: 40-45 minutes
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 60-65 minutes
Method 1 of 3: Selecting and Processing Eggplant
Step 1. Choose a good eggplant
If you are choosing from a variety of eggplants, then you need to know that the eggplants should always be firm, even when ripe. You need to take an eggplant with a dark lilac or black skin without damage or scratches.
Step 2. Wash the eggplant
Rinse the eggplants thoroughly in cold water, making sure to clean any dirt from the skin surface. You may want to use a vegetable brush, especially if the eggplant was purchased from the bazaar and still has traces of soil on it.
Step 3. Slice the eggplant
Place the eggplant sideways on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut off the tail of the eggplant and take care to scrape off the green stem from the remainder. Next, slice the eggplant to your liking. Choose from the following common methods of slicing eggplant for baking:
- Cut it in half lengthwise. This is the simplest method and is a great choice if you are working with small eggplants. Each half of the eggplant should be one serving. Place the eggplant on a cutting board and carefully cut from one end to the other.
- Slice into discs. This is another popular method for preparing baked eggplant. Eggplant discs can be baked on their own or used as a base for more complex dishes like stuffed eggplant. Place the eggplant sideways on a cutting board and use a knife to cut it into discs of the same width.
- Cut it into cubes. Eggplant falls apart when baked - if you cut it into cubes, the result is a soft, creamy mass. To cook the eggplant this way, cut it into discs and then divide the discs into quarters.
Method 2 of 3: Salting the eggplant
Step 1. Sprinkle the sliced eggplant with salt
Place the sliced eggplant on a baking sheet covered with paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt on the exposed portion of the eggplant slices. This will remove excess moisture and the baked eggplant will be less watery and softer. It also prevents the eggplant from absorbing too much oil. You can skip this step if you're in a hurry, but it's best not to do this if you want the perfect eggplant texture.
Step 2. Wait thirty minutes
While the eggplant is covered in salt, droplets should begin to form and drip off the flesh. If you do not observe this, then sprinkle with a little more salt.
Step 3. Squeeze the salted water out of the eggplant pieces
Gently squeeze the water into a bowl, then dry the eggplant with paper towels. Be careful not to squeeze too hard or damage the eggplant.
Method 3 of 3: Bake the eggplant
Step 1. Preheat oven to 175 ° C
Step 2. Oil the eggplant slices
Place the eggplant, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Drizzle over the eggplant with olive oil or another type of vegetable oil. Use a food brush or the back of a spoon to spread the oil over the surface of the eggplant until all the flesh is covered in oil.
Step 3. Bake the eggplant
Place the eggplant in the oven and bake until it is soft on the inside and the edges are golden brown and crispy; it will take about 20 minutes.
- If you want to cook eggplant with cheese, take it out of the oven and sprinkle with parmesan, cheddar, or goat cheese. Return to oven for another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
- Another option is to try eggplant with tomato and garlic. Place the tomato halves and the garlic cloves on the eggplant slices and bake together for 30 minutes.
Step 4. Bon appetit
- If you think the eggplant is getting too dry, sprinkle it a little with water. Alternatively, you can place a metal cup of water in the oven along with the eggplant.
- Check the eggplant from time to time during baking - cooking times may vary depending on the size of the eggplant.
- Make sure to choose a hard and shiny eggplant that is free from damage (soft spots and large spots).
- You can dice the eggplant and add it to your fried chicken or other dish while it's cooking in the oven.
- You can use the classic recipe and make eggplant with parmesan.
- Don't touch the eggplant with your bare hands right after the oven - it's hot!
- Always make sure to rinse the eggplant well before using.