Cooking Tip: Burn Your Eggplant

I’m really in love with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s cookbook, Jerusalem.  It’s beautiful, the food is accompanied by wonderful stories and the photography makes me want to eat the book.  I love it so much that we’ll feature a proper review soon; but I couldn’t wait to share this idea that forms part of their recipe for babaganoush:

burned eggplant, yotam olletenghi

I never thought of roasting whole eggplants until they char.  The authors recommend scoring the skin before roasting eggplant until it’s charred.

Once the vegetable cools you can scoop out the flesh and serve it as a puree or add it to dips, dressings, sauces of other recipes.  It retains some of the flavor of the charred skin and tastes almost smoky.

My version of burned eggplant – Ingredients

  • As many eggplants as you’d like.
  • Salt and pepper.

My version of burned eggplant – Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 450, place a rack as high as it will go in your oven with the eggplant still fitting under the elements.
  2. Score the skin multiple times.
  3. Place on a rack (optional) over a cookie sheet (you need to use one!)
  4. Scatter with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast until charred; you may have to rotate part way through.

It should take 20-40 minutes.

Allow it to cool, scrape away the flesh and use.  If you’re not sure what to do with it, take the flesh of 4 eggplants and mix them in a food processor with 0.25 cups olive oil, a chopped garlic clove and salt. Use as a spread.

What would you do with burned eggplants?

  1. My oven is gas and all heat comes from the bottom, should I then place my pan on the lowest rack or turn on the broiler in the upper rack?

    • Hi Maureen;

      You’ll still be ok on the top. Heat will rise and they will char. You can always resort to broiling but I like to roast them longer as I think it develops flavor. 🙂

      Joel

  2. I’m in love with this book too! There’s a recipe in there for fattoush that is really different and absolutely delicious and you have to make it before good tomatoes disappear. 🙂 And there’s an eggplant recipe with lemons and onions and feta that I’ve made like four or five times, and every time I think about it a week later, I’m -convinced- there is some additional, unusual, exciting ingredient that makes it extra super delicious, but no, it’s just the combination. OK, done fan-girling LOL. But I do love his ability to combine flavors in ways that are new or unexpected, and I’ve gone down some amazing, exciting culinary roads due to this book (and to a lesser extent, Plenty, the vegetarian one…)

  3. ok, got the oven on (oops, gotta go turn it higher – turned it on before checking again your recipe). Mr. Pablo picked two bins (think RUBBERMAID BINS) of eggplant and we aren’t selling it all at the farm gate. I am going to get some roasted and scraped Eggplant into my freezer tonight!

  4. Oh man, I went through an Ottolenghi phase in July, and it was great. I’ve never eaten so many eggplants, peppers, and herbs in my life! Perfect for midsummer.