Lemon-Garlic Roasted Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those summer/fall vegetables that attracts me simply because it is so beautiful.  I cannot think of another vegetable that looks so pretty, yet is so intimidating at the same time.  Tell me…if you were the first to happen upon an eggplant, would you be eager to eat it or a little leery?Jill Thaxton  Yet any vegetable that looks like an amethyst pendant begs to be investigated further.

I’ve had moderate success with eggplants, but most of my experiments had been with the large “globe” grocery store varieties.  My mom introduced me to home-grown Japanese and “baby” eggplants.  Both were tastier and didn’t require the long “salting” of the globe variety.  Neither required peeling.  

Texture seems to be the biggest barrier to most people.  Only one of my five children will eat it, and my husband won’t even look its way.  Another child says he likes the flavor, but not the texture.  I’m convinced that I just need to make it more often, and I’ll eventually win them over.  Tonight, I had all of the kids floating downstairs, saying, “Mmmm, pizza!” during the roasting.  It was sort of a letdown.  For them, that is.  I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed every bite.   

Lemon-Garlic Eggplant

4 small to medium eggplants

2 T. olive oil

2 lemons, juiced

1-2 T. oregano, dried or 1 handful, fresh, chopped

4 garlic cloves, pressed



Preheat oven to 400 F.  Wash and dry the eggplants.  Keeping the stems intact, slice through lengthwise but not all the way through the stem.  Make about 1 inch slices, so narrow eggplants may only be cut in half, but fatter varieties will have 3-4 slices.  If you are using larger varieties, like the “globe” you will need to sprinkle all cut sides of the eggplant with salt, lay on a kitchen towel and let sit until you see large drops of liquid form, usually about 20 minutes.  Rinse, and then firmly press a towel into the eggplant to dry it and release any extra juice.  “Fan” out the slices without breaking from the stem. 

Mix in a bowl the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.   Brush the mixture in and around the slices.  Place on a roasting pan and roast about 40 minutes to an hour, covered.  Uncover the last 5-7 minutes.  The bottoms should be carmelized, and the flesh creamy. 

Note:  I haven’t tried grilling these, but my guess would be…YUM.


About Jill Thaxton

Wife, mom, writer, cook, professional Googler. I can't seem to narrow my interests to one topic, but love to ponder people, culture, faith, health, food, relationships, and science. I specialize in minutiae. Oh, and I will forever regret quitting piano, in case you were interested.
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6 Responses to Lemon-Garlic Roasted Eggplant

  1. Maria Alarcon says:

    Hi Jill,

    I tried this recipe, I’m not a very talented cook so could you please give me an idea of the oven temperature you need to get the expected results? The result I got was good but I bet that it can be better! I ended up modifying the recipe a bit because I didn’t realize we ran out of oregano, so I used herbes de provence and worked well. Next time I will try with fresh oregano!

    Keep posting easy to prepare recipes for people like me 🙂


  2. Jill Thaxton says:

    Thanks Maria! I left out very pertinent information– 400F. I’ll go back and fix that. Now I’m curious what temperature you roasted yours on? The bottom should be nice and carmelized when through.

  3. Maria Alarcon says:

    I did 375 as I got a medium size eggplant. I didn’t get the caramelized result I guess because of the oven temperature. I will let you know how it works next time! Thanks!!

  4. Jill Thaxton says:

    I just found this from the Smitten Kitten’s site. She cut eggplant rounds to make a bottom for bruschetta (brilliant! I must try!) but here are her roasting instructions. A little higher temperature, and a flip halfway through…something I’ll have to try:

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Arrange eggplant rounds in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.

  5. Jill Thaxton says:

    Uh, make that Smitten KITCHEN, not kitten. You don’t want to go the Smitten Kitten website. Ha!

  6. Maria Alarcon says:

    Nice! thanks for that, I might try it later, first I want to try again your recipe! Wish me luck 🙂

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