5 Ingredients or Fewer

Warm Eggplant & Mint Salad

by:
May 28, 2018
24 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
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

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The Sheet-Pan Salad That Made Me Stop Hating Eggplant, Finally. —The Editors

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Finish with the fresh mint and serve at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hannah
    Hannah
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  • Rachel Carey
    Rachel Carey
  • Catherine Regina Cheng
    Catherine Regina Cheng
  • Alexandra Leona
    Alexandra Leona
Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

30 Reviews

Peggy August 3, 2020
I’m always looking for new things to do with eggplant. I had 4 tiny graffiti eggplant so cut them in 1” rounds or semicircles at the wider end and halved the rest of the ingredients. I worried it would dry out in the toaster oven but it worked well It made a perfect side for one although I might use less sugar the next time..
 
EO April 18, 2020
A truly splendid combination. Made as written. I was immediately asked to make it again...right away.
 
Hannah March 28, 2020
I made this for meatless Monday last week and loved it. It did need a little salty protein so I added vegan feta and called it a meal. Definitely will make this again.
 
Rhonda35 January 9, 2020
SO delicious! Easy to pull together, too.
 
Angela K. August 13, 2019
This is fresh & yummy! I didn't have enough eggplant from the garden (only had about 1/2 pound & used Japanese eggplant). Cooked it with the recipe as is & mixed in the warm eggplant & dressing with some small cut tomatoes & arugula. Will certainly make this again!
 
Rachel C. January 27, 2019
Would it be possible to make this ahead and reheat, or would you recommend serving chilled or only fresh out of the oven?
 
Jenny July 19, 2018
Lovely and refreshing. Did a mix of Japanese and Italian eggplant on grill. Cut in cubes and added mint and dressing minus sugar. Great summer recipe!
 
Jenny July 20, 2018
Oh! And I also grilled small sweet onions (halved) from the farmers market and added those for some extra sweetness and crunch.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. July 27, 2018
Jenny, I just made my salad but took your idea and added shallots to the mix. Sooo savory.
 
Holly H. July 14, 2018
Excellent. Doubled all, peeled eggplant. Hadn't planned dinner ahead so had with salad only (tomatoes off our vines perfect). It struck me while eating that this would be perfect with warm, soft pita bread. We will add as side dish to dinners of hummus, baba, falafel. This would be excellent side dish for grilled fish, chicken or steak/lamb. Everything about this recipe--ease of prep, minimum of ingredients and presentation (beautiful) makes this a go-to.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. July 27, 2018
Love that idea, Holly. What a wonderful, delicious spread.
 
Catherine R. July 3, 2018
Does it matter what type of eggplant you use? It looks like Japanese eggplant was used in the picture but not sure if it matters.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. July 3, 2018
Hi Catherine: It doesn't, not really! You'll just want about a pound. I find that's usually 1 large regular eggplant or 2 small Japanese eggplants. Happy eggplanting.
 
Christine M. June 25, 2018
About peeling--or not. I've always found eggplant peel a little bit hard to digest, but the presence of the peel does help the eggplant pieces hold their shape. Lately, I've tried a method of preparation I learned from Lidia Bastianich's cooking show; by peeling the eggplant in strips, you get the best of both worlds.

 
Author Comment
Eric K. July 3, 2018
That's a great tip, Christine. I do that sometimes myself, depending on how lazy I am :)
 
Alexandra L. June 22, 2018
Do you ever salt the eggplant first? I've done that in the past to help draw out some moisture and reduce bitterness but sounds like it isn't necessary for this recipe? Excited to try this!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 22, 2018
I don’t ever salt my eggplant b/c I’m much too lazy (!). The “dressing” in this salad (salt, lemon juice, olive oil, tiny pinch of sugar) should be enough to combat any bitterness?
 
Alexandra L. June 22, 2018
Awesome, thank you! It isn't (too) strenuous and has really done the trick with past roasting adventures but happy to skip it if I can ;)
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 22, 2018
Oh, you could try peeling the eggplant first? A lot of the bitterness, I find, comes from the skin.
 
Barb June 22, 2018
That's funny, I've never NOT peeled it, I always thought the peel wouldn't taste good. I might try some of it unpeeled just to experiment.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 22, 2018
I kind of like the texture it provides? Prevents the eggplant from turning to mush.
 
Bascula June 14, 2018
This recipe says it is one serving. Is that accurate?
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 14, 2018
Well, it's accurate in that I can certainly eat this in one sitting—and often do! Plus, eggplant shrinks considerably in the oven. But the recipe as is would be enough as a side for two.
 
Bascula June 15, 2018
I made it last evening, and found it is astonishing how much eggplant can shrink - yes, maybe two servings as a side dish. I'd cook more of it, to make it more worthwhile to turn the oven on. Enjoyed it, and I'm not a big fan of eggplant! I will use less lemon juice next time (and I used no sugar), but otherwise I followed the recipe as written.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 15, 2018
Aw, I'm so glad. Thank you for sharing!
 
Aelione June 9, 2018
This was more than impressive. I have been looking for more ways to introduce veggies into my diet and this will become a mainstay. Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 14, 2018
Thank you!
 
Elizabeth June 6, 2018
I made this recipe today, but with peeled eggplant. I also omitted the sugar. It was fantastic!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 9, 2018
I do it like that too, sometimes. So glad you liked it.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. June 14, 2018
Glad you liked it! Those alterations sound delicious.