Eggplants have funky fashion, in their tight black. It’s the kind of alternative style preferred by certain artistic types or those who ride Harley-Davidsons. But really, wouldn’t the grandmothers think that ridiculous? Instead they imagine how these beauties will be transformed; perhaps into moussaka, baba-ganoush or maklouba. Or if they lack time, simply deep fried and served with a squeeze of lemon. They pick each one up, weighing it loosely in their hands. Too heavy means full of seeds, too soft it’s not fresh. In some seasons they know to avoid them altogether waiting patiently until the right time.
The elongated eggplants that are available in Israel are not bitter and do not need to be salted and rinsed (this I know from a controlled experiment I once did). The hardest part of this recipe is finding the perfect eggplant, without it you might as well make something else.
Eggplants, This technique doesn’t work as well with the variegated variety, known as Sicilian eggplant although I am not sure why
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut the eggplant into 1-1 1/2 cm rounds. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange them in one layer on a parchment paper lined tray and put it in oven. After about 25 minutes, or when the eggplant begin to brown flip them to brown the other side as well. Remove from oven and serve immediately. I like to eat them sprinkled with parsley and lemon juice or with creamy labneh.
A quick starter: Stack the roasted eggplant and tomatoes with a bit of feta and mozzarella between the slices. Bake at 180°C until the cheese begins to melt and the tomatoes soften.
Here are a few more ways to use eggplants: