Roasting Whole Eggplant Is The Go-To Method For Smooth Texture

Eggplants are a tricky fruit to cook with. If you overcook them, they can yield a mushy, unappetizing mess. And if you don't heat them enough, the chalky texture can taste bitter and unappealing. However, if you're after a smooth, tender texture, there is no need to overcomplicate — simply wash the eggplant, pat it down, then roast it whole. 

After around an hour in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior will come out perfectly soft. Peel off the wrinkled skin, use a spoon to scoop out the goodness inside, and soon enough, the soft flesh is ripe for many applications. You can easily top a salad with it, or turn it into a dip or soup. Plus, there's no pressure to make the eggplant the star of the show as you can toss a portion into a meal and then save the rest for later. So, what are some dishes that go especially well with roasted eggplant?

There are lots of delicious dishes prepared with roasted eggplant

You can start with a Mediterranean flair by preparing baba ganoush. The dip incorporates roasted eggplant alongside lemon, tahini, garlic, and other components, lending a complex flavor. It's also served at room temperature, making it an easy appetizer to prep in advance. A similar flavor palate also makes for a deliciously creamy eggplant soup — add cumin for a savory note, and use vegetable or chicken stock to round out the dish. To achieve the perfect soup consistency, you can use an immersion blender after sautéeing the aromatics. You can also try using it as the base for a hearty and creamy pasta sauce.

For a vegan alternative, use the roasted eggplant as a filling in a taco. Its tender, meaty texture delectably meshes with other components like black beans, avocado, and a bright tomatillo salsa on top. If you're craving a simple yet satisfying lunch, pair a smooth and savory roasted eggplant with a crispy element like roasted chickpeas.