We had a very Italian dinner the other night with homemade meatballs and a pile of parmesan filled polenta with these beautiful sweet roasted veggies to complete the flavor profile. Roasting any vegetable to a caramelized point makes them sweet and savory, and with eggplant in particular, takes away any bitterness the veggie may have. I found some beautiful baby japanese eggplants at our local farmers market and just fell in love with how precious they were…and bought them without really knowing what I would do with them. This recipe was perfect.
Balsamic Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini
8 baby eggplants or 2 large eggplants, sliced in half
2 zucchini squash, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or parsley, for garnish
Salt the eggplant liberally and turn them flesh side down on a paper towel. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes to help remove some of the moisture and bitterness. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the eggplant well then toss them onto a foil lined and sprayed sheet pan. (Spray with any type cooking spray). Add the zucchini rounds, garlic and red pepper flakes. Drizzle on the oil and vinegar evenly then sprinkle lightly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper (the eggplant would have absorbed a bit of salt, so go lightly). Toss together completely to coat. Roast for 15 minutes on 375 until the veggies are tender and caramelized. Remove from the oven, let cool just slightly and serve with the chopped basil or parsley on top, a sprinkle of parmesan would be tasty too.