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Oven Roasted Eggplant Cubes | The Full Serving to


This oven roasted eggplant with balsamic vinegar is my favourite easy solution to put together eggplant. It’s hands-off, flavorful, and versatile. You possibly can serve the eggplant as a aspect dish, add it to grain bowls or salads, or fold it into your favourite pasta dish. For those who’re slightly intimidated by cooking eggplant, that is the starter recipe for you!

A white, ceramic bowl is filled with roasted vegetables and tiny leaves of fresh, green basil.

Does cooking eggplant scare you slightly?

In that case, you’re not the one one. Individuals inform me on a regular basis that they’re intimidated by the method of cooking this nightshade, and I can perceive why.

If issues go awry, cooked eggplant can change into too oily or too dry. It might burn too rapidly or refuse to brown while you need it to brown. Except the vegetable is backyard recent, it could possibly have some underlying bitterness.

Typically essentially the most difficult substances are additionally essentially the most rewarding. I actually love eggplant, so I’ve developed some recipes through the years that I now think about to be foolproof.

This recipe for oven roasted eggplant cubes is one in every of them. It’s my easiest, go-to eggplant recipe, and I wish to share it with you immediately.

A strong aspect dish

A enjoyable phenomenon that occurs periodically inside my diet observe is that a number of purchasers will articulate the identical query to me across the identical time.

Whether or not that is seasonal in nature, associated to diet within the information, or simply some an expression of collective power, I’m undecided.

What it means is that my purchasers get me fascinated by one thing, and I normally mull it over till I can provide them a useful reply.

Recently, a number of purchasers have been speaking with me about consuming extra greens—particularly vegetable aspect dishes.

I spend a number of time teaching the parents I work with on macronutrient stability, or the significance of getting complicated carbs, protein, and healthful fats represented on every plate. This can be a cornerstone of my diet philosophy, and it’s the precept that my cookbook Energy Plates is devoted to.

Nevertheless, vegatables and fruits are additionally an important a part of balanced, nutritious meals.

When life is busy, it may be laborious to know incorporate greens adequately. All of us are likely to have a vegetable aspect dish or two that we lean on closely. For me, it’s a easy inexperienced salad or steamed broccoli with sauce.

There’s nothing incorrect with having a dependable standby. However selection is necessary, too, each for the sake of diet standing and likewise for avoiding boredom.

The query turns into, how can we get a greater diversity of greens when merely deciding what’s for dinner already looks like a number of work?

The reply—or my reply, anyway—is to have a brief listing of go-to vegetable sides that’s different, but not overly bold.

This roasted eggplant is at all times on that listing.

Eggplant 101

Just a few fundamental enjoyable and fascinating details about eggplant.

Eggplant diet

Eggplants belong to the nightshade household, which additionally contains tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers.

Eggplant is a nutrient dense meals. It’s excessive in fiber and likewise a great supply of folate and potassium.

What’s extra, the pigments that give eggplants their stunning array of purple shades are highly effective antioxidants known as anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are related to anti-inflammatory results, they usually can also be positively related to cardiac well being.

Chances are you’ll be shocked to learn this, as nightshades are generally stated to trigger irritation. What’s the reality?

As with so many diet issues, that is nuanced.

Nightshades include compounds known as alkaloids. Consuming very giant quantities of alkaloids could exacerbate current irritation amongst individuals who have current pro-inflammatory circumstances, reminiscent of arthritis.

Nevertheless, over time, analysis has continued to recommend that consuming nightshades as a part of a balanced weight-reduction plan isn’t really a explanation for irritation.

And never all individuals who have pro-inflammatory circumstances may have an hostile response to nightshades. For most folk, these fruits and veggies supply extra well being advantages than they do dangers.

I at all times advise my purchasers to take heed to their our bodies. If a consumer with arthritis or an autoimmune situation feels noticeably worse with a number of nightshade consumption, then we work to scale back or keep away from consumption of the nightshade household.

In any other case, all nightshades, eggplants included, is usually a nourishing and scrumptious a part of any plant-centric weight-reduction plan.

Cooking with eggplant

A number of the concern issue round cooking with eggplant is that many recipes name for salting the vegetable earlier than cooking it.

It’s not a tough step. However it’s an further step.

The rationale behind salting eggplant is that salting will scale back the vegetable’s tendency to have some pure bitterness.

Salting seemingly isn’t wanted when eggplant may be very recent and completely mature. But it surely’s useful the remainder of the time.

I additionally discover that salting tenderizes eggplant, making it extra palatable. Most of the time, I salt eggplant earlier than utilizing it in my recipes.

For this oven roasted eggplant, nevertheless, I skip the salting. Excessive temperature cooking reduces the necessity for eggplant to be completely tender. The truth is, slightly crispiness is a part of the intention right here.

From a taste perspective, candy and tart balsamic vinegar helps to offset any of the eggplant’s pure bitterness, if any bitterness is there within the first place.

Salting apart, I discover that eggplant is definitely a really forgiving and versatile vegetable to work with. It may be fried, sautéed, stewed, baked, or roasted. It might change into salty, oven-baked eggplant “bacon” or a pleasant pasta sauce.

The probabilities are many.

Sorts of eggplant

It’s price saying one thing about totally different forms of eggplant.

Most frequently, I purchase glove, also called American, eggplant. That is the kind of eggplant that you just’ll usually see in grocery shops within the US.

It tends to be on the bigger aspect, it has a slimmer high and wider backside (pear-shaped, in different phrases), and it has a darkish, shiny, purple black pores and skin

Italian eggplants look just like globe eggplants, however they’re smaller throughout. Japanese and Chinese language eggplants are lengthy and skinny in diameter; the previous is a deeper purple, whereas the latter is normally gentle purple. All three of those varieties are particularly tender and creamy when cooked.

There are extra eggplant varieties, together with the petite, stripey fairy story eggplant, practically spherical Indian eggplant, and white eggplant.

What sort of eggplant ought to I take advantage of for this recipe?

For this roasted eggplant, I like to recommend utilizing globe, Italian, graffiti, Chinese language, or Japanese eggplants. You’ll see globe eggplant in my pictures.

Fairy story eggplant and Indian eggplants will all work as nicely. You’ll merely want a bunch of them so as to add as much as the approximate pound of eggplant that’s known as for.

Easy seasonings

This roasted eggplant recipe requires minimal flavoring. There’s one predominant taste, which is balsamic vinegar.

If any ingredient is well-equipped to do some heavy lifting in a recipe, it’s balsamic! Candy, tart, and distinctive, a pair tablespoons (or a giant drizzle) of balsamic can instantly add a number of persona to roasted greens, salads, or pasta dishes.

I normally hold just a few sorts of balsamic at dwelling. Extreme? Possibly, however all of them do various things.

I hold cheap balsamic readily available for mixing into dressings. Any such balsamic is normally on the skinny aspect.

There’s additionally at all times a bottle of extra syrupy Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in my pantry or on my counter. I take advantage of this for drizzling on high of pasta, braised lentils on toast, and so on.

Lastly, I wish to hold some white balsamic round, too. Any such balsamic has a barely extra mellow profile than purple balsamic. I take advantage of it at any time when I need the flavour of balsamic with out an excessive amount of depth.

For the roasted eggplant, white balsamic is definitely my first alternative. Once I don’t have that, I take advantage of purple balsamic as an alternative.

There’s no want to tug out the flamboyant, unctuous balsamic for this recipe, until you’d wish to. A extra budget-friendly, on a regular basis selection is okay.

Methods to make oven roasted eggplant

Once more, one of many nicest issues about this recipe is that it’s easy. You don’t should salt the eggplant previous to roasting, and the ingredient listing is brief.

Listed below are the steps.

Step 1: Preheat your oven

I discover that 400°F / 200°C is the precise temperature for this roasted eggplant recipe. When the oven is hotter, the eggplant can fry and burn earlier than it actually turns into tender.

When the oven is cooler, the eggplant could not develop these crispy edges and bits that give it good taste.

400°F is good.

Step 2: Trim and dice your eggplant

I like to chop my eggplant into 3/4-1 inch cubes (2-2.5cm). I normally minimize my eggplant crosswise into disks, then minimize these disks into cubes.

One giant, globe eggplant will yield a couple of pound of cubes after preparation.

Subsequent, place these cubes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, mud them generously with salt, and blend the cubes to distribute the oil.

A silver baking sheet is topped with cubed eggplant, ready to be roasted.
It doesn’t matter what sort of eggplant you’re roasting, your cubes of eggplant must be about 3/4-1 inch (2-2.5com) large.

Step 3: Roast

Switch the eggplant to the oven and roast it for quarter-hour, or till among the edges are beginning to crisp and switch golden.

Roasted eggplant cubes are pictured on a rimmed, silver baking sheet.
After quarter-hour of roasting, take away the eggplant from the oven. Add your vinegar and garlic, if utilizing, and stir the eggplant on its baking sheet.

It’s time so as to add seasoning. Combine the eggplant on the baking sheet, then drizzle it with the vinegar. For those who’d like so as to add a clove or two of minced garlic, now’s the time.

Return the eggplant to the oven. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or till the eggplant is tender and caramelizing.

A baking sheet is pictured with tender, browning roasted eggplant cubes on top.
After one other 15-20 minutes of oven roasting, the eggplant cubes will probably be very tender and browning gently on all sides.

Earlier than you serve the eggplant, you possibly can style it and add slightly extra salt, vinegar, or some crushed purple pepper flakes, as you want.

A white, ceramic bowl is filled with oven roasted eggplant cubes and tiny leaves of fresh, green basil.
Some recent basil leaves is usually a actually beautiful garnish for the roasted eggplant.

Step 4: Serve or retailer

Serve the eggplant now, or retailer it in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days.

It’s simple to meal prep the eggplant, in a single batch or perhaps a double batch, then take pleasure in it for some lunches and dinners within the days that comply with.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the enjoyment of consuming home made meals on daily basis with the hearty and healthful recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether or not you might have three, two, and even only one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will present you batch cook dinner different, colourful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Serving options

I believe it’s lots scrumptious to toss the roasted eggplant cubes with some recent basil and serve them as an accompaniment to any easy entire grain + protein combo.

A white bowl has been filled with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, whole grains, and legumes. It rests on a white cloth.

Eggplant’s peak season is late summer season and early fall. So listed below are some seasonal grain pairing options for you:

For the protein, you can keep on model and serve the eggplant with baked balsamic tofu cubes. Chickpea scramble, tempeh nuggets, or balsamic mustard baked tempeh would even be nice.

There are such a lot of large, meal-sized salads that will be even higher with a scoop of the roasted eggplant cubes combined in. I’m considering of tahini mint kale salad and tofu feta kale salad specifically.

And my favourite factor to do with the eggplant cubes is, in fact, to combine them into some cozy vegan pasta dish or one other.

A round, white gray ceramic bowl is filled with a baked rigatoni pasta.

For instance:

Anyway, I’m certain you’ll work out a lot of your individual engaging concepts. The principle factor is to benefit from the eggplant! Right here’s the recipe.

A white, ceramic bowl is filled with roasted vegetables and tiny leaves of fresh, green basil.
A white, ceramic bowl is filled with roasted vegetables and tiny leaves of fresh, green basil.

Oven Roasted Eggplant Cubes with Balsamic Vinegar

Writer – Gena Hamshaw

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

  • 1 giant giant, globe eggplant, high and backside trimmed, minimize into 1-inch / 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white or purple balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (non-obligatory)
  • crushed purple pepper flakes (non-obligatory)
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the eggplant onto a parchment lined or nonstick rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle it with the oil and sprinkle it generously with salt. 

  • Roast the eggplant for quarter-hour, or till among the edges are beginning to crisp and switch golden. Drizzle the eggplant with the vinegar. Add the minced garlic, if utilizing. Stir the eggplant nicely. Return the eggplant to the oven.

  • Roast the eggplant for an additional 15-20 minutes, or till the it is tender and caramelizing. Style the eggplant and modify salt and vinegar to style. Add a pinch or two of crushed purple pepper flakes for warmth, if desired.

  • Serve the eggplant immediately, or retailer it in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days.

That’s a number of pleasure and enthusiasm over a quite simple vegetable aspect, I do know.

However in busy or tough instances it looks like such a win when nourishing substances handle to search out their approach constantly to our plates, proper?

A white, ceramic bowl is filled with oven roasted eggplant cubes and tiny leaves of fresh, green basil.

Prompted by my beautiful purchasers and their questions, I’ll share extra of my favourite, simple vegetable sides this fall and winter.

For now,

xo

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