Roasting eggplant slices for a versatile meal, photographed on March 10, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Roasting eggplant slices for a versatile meal, photographed on March 10, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kalifornsky Kitchen: Eggplant for every occasion

Eggplants are surprisingly versatile.

By Victoria Petersen

For the Peninsula Clarion

The other day, I saw a couple of unblemished eggplants when I was browsing the supermarket, and felt inspired.

I was recently reading about a recipe for eggplant Parmesan, where the eggplants are baked and roasted instead of breaded and fried. The results are a custardy, caramelized and roasted slice of eggplant that can be layered in an eggplant Parmesan-style casserole, or served over rice with spices and soy sauce.

Eggplants are surprisingly versatile and pair great with tomato sauce, Thai-inspired peanut sauce, herby yogurt sauce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds or roasted simply with olive oil, salt and pepper.

To prepare the eggplant, some people will draw out the moisture by salting their slices and wiping them with a paper towel.

I did not do this step. A couple of the recipes I was reading omitted this step, so I decided to take the chance. I didn’t really notice a huge difference from past experiences when I had followed this step. So it’s up to you. If you choose to do it, you can salt all of your slices, wait about 10 minutes and dab off the moisture that’s drawn out with a paper towel.

This recipe roasts the eggplant slices at a high temperature for a while, so make sure your slices are evenly shaped, and have relatively the same thicknesses, otherwise the smaller thinner slices will crisp up and possibly burn.

The goal here is to get a lot of color on the eggplant. We want the slices browned and caramelized, and to have a crispy-ish exterior texture.

Once your roasted eggplant is done, serve as a main dish with rice, potatoes, noodles or maybe even tortillas? It’s a versatile dish that will take on the flavors you give it. This dish can adapt to whatever mood you’re in.

Roasted eggplant

1 globe eggplant, sliced about ½ an inch thick

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay your sliced eggplant out on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I did this on both sides of the slices, making sure each slice had some oil and salt and pepper. The slices don’t need to be completely doused in the oil, so don’t feel the need to go overboard. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

At the halfway point, about 15 minutes into the roasting, take some tongs and flip over the slices so each side is evenly browned.

Remove from the oven when both sides are nicely browned and tender.

More in Life

Christ Lutheran Church Pastor Meredith Harber displays necklaces featuring the cross in this undated photo. (Photo by Meredith Harber/courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Interwoven together for good

I hope that we can find that we have more in common than we realize

Virgil Dahler photo courtesy of the KPC historical photo archive
This aerial view from about 1950 shows Jack Keeler’s home on his homestead east of Soldotna. The stream to the left is Soldotna Creek, and the bridge across the stream probably allowed early access to the Mackey Lakes area. The road to the right edge of the photo leads to the Sterling Highway.
Keeler Clan of the Kenai — Part 6

“Most of those homesteaders won’t last”

A sign points to the Kenai Art Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Art Center accepting submissions for ‘Medieval Forest’

The deadline to submit art is Saturday at 5 p.m.

People identifying as Democrats and people identifying as Republicans sit face to face during a workshop put on by Braver Angels in this screenshot from “Braver Angels: Reuniting America.” (Screenshot courtesy Braver Angels)
KPC lecture series to feature film and discussion about connecting across political divide

“Braver Angels: Reuniting America” is a nonpartisan documentary about a workshop held in the aftermath of the 2016 election of Donald Trump

Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
This basil avocado dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous — great for use on bitter greens like kale and arugula.
Memories of basil and bowling with Dad

This dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous

Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger
Don and Verona pose inside their first Soldotna grocery store in 1952, the year they opened for business.
Keeler Clan of the Kenai — Part 5

By 1952, the Wilsons constructed a simple, rectangular, wood-frame building and started the town’s first grocery

File
Minister’s Message: Finding freedom to restrain ourselves

We are free to speak at a higher level of intelligence

Dancers rehearse a hula routine at Diamond Dance Project near Soldotna on Thursday. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Moving into magic

Diamond Dance Project all-studio concert puts original spin on familiar stories

Orion (Jacob Tremblay) and Dark (Paul Walter Hauser) in “Orion and the Dark.” (Promotional photo provided by Dreamworks Animation)
On the Screen: ‘Orion and the Dark’ is resonant, weird

Fear of the dark is natural, not some problem that Orion has to go on adventure to overcome

Most Read