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Eggplant is a somewhat misunderstood vegetable—many people find it intimidating for no good reason. One of the simplest and best methods for cooking eggplants is to slice and roast, as Yotam Ottolenghi demonstrates in this vegan and gluten-free eggplant recipe below.

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Culinary Uses for Eggplant

Eggplant is an excellent base for salads, mezze dishes, or a substantial side dish, thanks to its meaty texture and incredible ability to absorb and carry flavors. It pairs well with almost anything: loads of fresh herbs, grilled or roasted meats (especially lamb, which is fragrant and fatty), and dairy (yogurt or salty feta cheese). It’s also the star ingredient as rough-cut cubes in the rustic French ratatouille, along with tomato, garlic, onion, and other aromatics. Once you know how to cook it, it’s an easy and impressive showpiece for a vegetable-laden table.

Tips for Serving Roasted Eggplant

  • In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses a mixture of dill, fresh flat-leaf parsley, and basil, though you can feel free to substitute other soft green herbs such as cilantro or fresh mint.
  • He adds a bit of Quick Lemon Paste and Quick-Pickled Chilies for complexity and kick; you can sprinkle whatever spices you have on hand, to adjust taste.
  • Don’t worry about perfection when it comes to plating and garnishes; this side dish is meant to feel casual yet intimate.
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Ottolenghi’s Roasted Eggplant Salad Recipe

Ottolenghi’s Roasted Eggplant Salad Recipe

Serves
4

Ingredients

  • 13⁄4 tbsp Quick Lemon Paste
  • 2 tbsp Quick-Pickled Chilies
  • 20 g pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs large Italian eggplants (about 3 eggplants), trimmed and cut into 1-inch- thick rounds
  • 10 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 g dill, roughly chopped
  • 5 g parsley, roughly chopped
  • 10 g basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 11⁄2 tsp maple syrup
  1. In a large bowl, toss the eggplants with 4 tablespoons of oil, 3⁄4 teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of pepper. Spread the eggplants out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray and roast, turning over halfway, until deeply golden and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dill, parsley, basil, Quick Lemon Paste (made of fresh lemon juice and salt), maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil. Add the cooled eggplant and toss until well coated.
  3. Arrange the eggplant on a plate and top with the Quick-Pickled Chilies and chopped pistachios.

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