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Author Notes: The eggplant I knew, growing up, was a bland, bitter Korean banchan called gaji bokkeum (“stir-fried eggplant”). Sesame oil, burnt garlic, salt, maybe soy sauce. This is not that. When you roast the eggplant, char it at the edges, you somehow make it earthy again, like ash, which is a welcome substratum for fresh mint, a pinch of sugar for balance, and a bright, yellow squeeze of lemon. The lemon juice is insurance against that styrofoam texture you can sometimes get with undercooked eggplant, as are the extra five minutes at the very end, when you leave your warm, fully dressed sheet pan salad in the oven to finish alloying. —Eric Kim
Food52 Review: Featured in: The Sheet Pan Salad That Made Me Stop Hating Eggplant, Finally. —The Editors
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 35 min
large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 pound)
tablespoons olive oil, divided
teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Toss the eggplant cubes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt directly on a quarter sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, or until caramelized and tender. Turn off the oven.
- Season the cooked eggplant with the lemon juice, sugar, black pepper, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch more salt if you feel it needs it, and toss together (I like to do this straight in the sheet pan). Place back in the turned-off oven for 5 more minutes.
- Finish with the fresh mint and serve at room temperature.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!