Chef Gianluca Deiana Abis: Oven-Roasted Eggplant Recipe
Prep. time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Ingredients: 2 lb. eggplant (about two big eggplants)
2 to 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
8 fresh thyme sprigs
Wipe the eggplant clean and slice them in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, cut deeply in a diamond pattern by making two or three long cuts. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle salt over the surface and into the cuts. Set aside, cut side up, for 30 min. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract the salty juice and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Brush each half thoroughly with olive oil. Arrange each half, cut side down, on top of a sprig or two of thyme on the baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. The eggplant will collapse and the bottoms will be a deep brown. Let cool considerably before handling, at least 20 min. Carefully turn the cut side up.
Eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, but you can reduce its ability to absorb oil by salting the cut flesh and letting it sit for 30 min. or more. Then drain, pat dry, and proceed with cooking.