Roasted Eggplant with Mint – Perfect Summer Picnics


roasted eggplant recipes

Diane has been all atwitter about how much she loves that summer is here.  The air is getting warm and sweet and the garden is filling out it’s summer foliage.  We’ve even had the annual June bugs absent mindlessly flying into the house to die a day later.  Summer is definitely here and it’s the perfect picnic season. It’s time to lounge on the beach, in a park or anywhere outdoors to enjoy a simple meal that highlights perfect, summer produce.

One of our first summer veggies (ok, technically it is a fruit) that is ripening are our eggplants.  We’re growing a few different varieties, the Bianca Rosa eggplants, the Japanese Eggplants, but the ones pictured here are the Indian Eggplants.  Aren’t they cute?!

roasted eggplant recipes

We love meals, alfresco, with a few bottles of wine and a collage of summer salads. It’s one of the best ways to welcome summer. Just grab a blanket, some wine and a collection of your favorite companions. Choose a beautiful spot to enjoy the day and watch the sunset and you’ve got the perfect summer picnic. This roasted eggplant with mint is a great addition to your menu.

The recipe is easy and quick to prepare.  The longest thing is for the eggplants to actually cook.  This recipe is great to do ahead of time and take on a summer picnic, or else you can also try our Grilled Eggplant if you want to cook directly on the grill.

What dishes do you like to bring or prepare for a Summer picnic?

Todd

Roasted Eggplant with Mint Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour

For this recipe you can use any eggplant you like, however if you are using one of the bigger varieties like the Italian Eggplants, you are best off salting them for a half hour or so to help extract some of the bitter liquids (Salting: Slice and layer eggplant on sheet pan.  Add a thin layer of salt, then some paper towels and weigh down the eggplant slices with another sheet pan and something solid on top. Let sit for 45 min - hour then rinse.) If you have some of the smaller varieties or the Bianca Rosas, salting isn't necessary.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant, smaller varieties sliced in half, larger sliced into 1/2" thick slices
  • Fresh Mint, enough to mingle nicely with the eggplants
  • Olive Oil, enough to lightly coat the eggplants
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F.  (You can also do this recipe in the smoker using indirect heat) Lay the eggplant on a sheet pan with the mint, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you are using small halved eggplants, lay them so that they are skin side down.
  2. Roast until eggplants are a light golden brown and soft (can be anywhere from 30 min - 1 hr depending on your eggplants and their thickness.) You do not need to flip them during roasting.
  3. Double check finished eggplants for seasoning and serve with the crispy mint leaves.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Mario Grazia

    My recipe is with the white wine vinegar; usually I add breadcrumb to absorb the sauce.

    Here’s my version: http://www.academiabarilla.com/italian-recipes/calabria/eggplants-with-mint.aspx

  2. Lady Amalthea

    As everyone else said–absolutely gorgeous pictures! I got some in my CSA box today and roasted them, using anchovy oil instead of olive oil to bring in a little extra saltiness. A delightful counterpoint. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. arundati

    love the roasted eggplants and the stunning pictures… you guys are fabulous

  4. Denise

    Greetings from western North Carolina~
    Just made this today with eggplant from our garden. Soooo delicious. Your blog is addictive. We love Yosemite, too!! Will be referring to your site many times this summer as our veggies are pulled fresh from the dirt and make it into the kitchen of our old farmhouse.
    Fifi’s painting is perfect!

  5. White on Rice Couple

    Fifi- that painting is gorgeous!!! Oh gosh, you’re such an amazing artist! Thank you for that inspiration.

  6. Foodwoolf

    I’ve been beguiled by Asian and baby eggplants this season. Something about their soft, purple skin makes me want to hurry home and make something good with them. When it’s this early in the season there’s no chance that you’ll get a bad, bitter one. I love this idea of grilling them with herbs and eating outside. I’m in!

  7. Jen Yu

    *sigh* The colors and flavors of your garden are a drug. A DRUG, I say. I’m torn between dreaming over the recipe or visually drinking in the gorgeous images. Those eggplants are adorably cute. Did they squeal when you cut into them? :(

  8. Fifi Flowers

    Wellllllllll… I did it… I painted your photo… http://www.fififlowers.com/2009/06/another-lovely-wednesday-in-garden.html

  9. pam

    Oh, I want to be sitting on that chair in the first picture, having some wine and some eggplant!

  10. Lynn (The Actors Diet)

    Awwww, those little eggplants are so precious!

  11. Chef Fresco

    These look tantalizing. So petite, so delicious, such great work on this post.

  12. The Duo Dishes

    Love mint with zucchini too, so why not eggplants. It really brightens up each bite.

  13. Adrienne

    Have you ever tried adding capers to this? It’s a really interesting counterpoint!

  14. Kristina

    Mmmm….eggplant are my favorite vegetable…um, “fruit” (whatever).
    My Ichiban eggplant have been coming in for about a month now, and I’m eagerly awaiting my Italian eggplants to grow to the right size to be picked. Mint is always lovely with eggplant. Beautiful photos, as always.

  15. Fifi Flowers

    PERFECT first photo to PAINT!!! Hope you don’t mind!

  16. Phoo-D

    Your photos are simply perfect! We are growing rosa bianca eggplants this year for the first time. So far the plants are still very tiny. I hope that at least one will make it to produce fruit because this recipe looks amazing!

  17. Rita

    I never thought of mixing mint with eggplants. Just lovely!

  18. ravenouscouple

    what a romantic set of photos!

  19. Tartelelette

    Ok guys, this is my favorite set of pictures from you…e-ver! I already have a slew of favorites but I could just frame each and everyone of these for my kitchen. Outstanding styling and mood! Oh and of course, one of my favorite ways to eat eggplants in general.

  20. Camille

    Sounds delicious! And perfect for my plan to eat mostly vegetables (and fruits, too) this summer. I am just begnning to appreciate how much mint can contribute to savory dishes – thanks for the idea!

  21. Julia

    I love the idea of mint and eggplant… well, mint and anything! My eggplants are just flowering now, so I have a ways to go before I can try out this recipe.

  22. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    Oh I love me some eggplant. It’s one of my favorite summer veggies. When I first looked at this post I thought they were figs (hey it’s only 6:30am here, my eyes are still blurry, lol)

    I planted 3 varities this year. I can’t wait to cook some up!

    Photos are gorgeous, as always.

  23. Cynthia

    Like Linda, I love all the photographs. I particularly like the still life shot of the chair, wine glasses etc.

  24. Linda

    I love your photos, makes everything look so good. I can imagine those little eggplants would be burtsing with flavour, it would probably taste excellent when marinade in olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled. yum.

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