Roasted Eggplant with Mint for Summer Picnics
This roasted eggplant recipe is very versatile and you can use what ever variety of eggplant you love.
The air is warm and the garden is filling out it’s Summer foliage. 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. When the heat arrives in the garden, so do our eggplants. We’re growing 3 different varieties this year and these purple beauties are perfect to eat as a cold picnic side dish.
Roasted Eggplant Recipe with Mint
One of the first summer veggies (ok, technically it is a fruit) ripening in our garden is eggplant. There’s so many fantastic types of eggplant. We’re growing a few different varieties: Bianca Rosa eggplants, Japanese Eggplants and Thai Green eggplants, but the ones pictured here are the Indian Eggplants. We found these at our local farmers market (even when we grow them, we still can’t pass up a great eggplant at the markets). Aren’t they cute?! The roasted flavors is wonderful and when added with a handful of fresh mint, it’s even more amazing.
Tips on Grilling the Eggplant
The roasted eggplant recipe is easy and quick to prepare. The longest thing is to roast the eggplants. If you want to grill them instead of cooking in the oven, here’s some tips on grilling.
- Don’t walk away from the grill because you don’t want to burn the eggplant. These cook really quick!
- Cut the eggplant a little thicker so it doesn’t burn too quick on the grill.
- If needed, add an additional spray of oil over the eggplant. This will help give moisture to the eggplant slices and keep them from drying out before they’re cooked on the inside.
- Eggplant slices need to be seasoned well, so add a good amount of salt or your favorite seasoning.
- Add more of your favorite spices! Or if you have a favorite go-to sauce just drizzle some over the eggplant.
- A nice yogurt dip would be lovely on the eggplant.
Picnic-Perfect Side Dish
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 recipe with mint is a great addition to your menu.
What dishes do you like to bring or prepare for a Summer picnic?
Diane and Todd
Roasted Eggplant with Mint
- 1.5 pounds (680 g) Eggplant , smaller varieties sliced in half, larger sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
- 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) Olive Oil , or enough to lightly coat the eggplants
- Salt , to taste
- fresh cracked Black Pepper , to taste
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh Mint , chopped , or enough to mingle nicely with the eggplants
- 1/2 cup (50 g) Parmesan Cheese (optional topping)
- Pre-heat oven to 400ºF/205°C. (You can also cook the eggplant on a grill or smoker for an extra special flavor.)
- Lay the eggplant on a sheet pan. For a crispy mint, add the mint leaves with the eggplant now. For a more vibrant mint taste, wait to add the fresh mint until ready to serve. Toss with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 25-40 minutes or until eggplants are a light golden brown and soft (timing will depend on your eggplants and their thickness.) You do not need to flip them during roasting.
- Double check finished eggplants for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if desired. If you didn't roast the mint with the eggplant, and the fresh mint now. Top with optional Parmesan cheese.
- Serve the eggplant as whole slices or chop into bite sized pieces for easier serving.