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Baked Eggplant

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Baked Eggplant
Joff Lee/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Fried eggplant slices are meltingly tender, to be sure, but baked eggplant slices can be just as tender and tempting, without the hassle and grease of frying. I use a two-pronged method of brining the eggplant first to help it hold its shape and remove any excess bitterness, and then lightly spraying or brushing them with oil to get them nicely browned as they bake. Want something crispY? Try Oven-Fried Eggplant.

This recipe obviously doubles and triples as needed. Work in batches as dictated by oven space and access to baking sheets.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Brining Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • About 1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil or spray oil

Preparation:

  1. Cut the eggplant into slices or whatever shapes and sizes you prefer, being sure to trim off the stem and the ends.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the salt in about 1/2 cup warm water. Once the salt is dissolved, add 4 to 6 cups of cool water. Put the eggplant slices, wedges, sticks, or chunks in the salt water. Set a plate or pot lid that is slightly smaller than the top of the bowl on the eggplant pieces to keep them submerged. Let sit about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 375°F. After the eggplant has soaked, drain it and pat the pieces thoroughly dry. Lay them on a baking sheet (or sheets, depending on how much eggplant you decided to cook) and lightly brush or spray with oil. Turn all the pieces over and brush or spray the other side(s). Bake until the downside has browned nicely, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn all the pieces over and bake until that side is browned, too, about 10 more minutes.

Use the baked eggplant in a recipe or serve them on their own sprinkled with salt, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, or topped with chopped tomatoes and/or basil.

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