Warm Eggplant & Mint Salad

May 28, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Serves: 1
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 35 min

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.

More Great Recipes:
Salad|Mediterranean|Mint|Eggplant|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Sheet Pan|Side

Reviews (23) Questions (0)

23 Reviews

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.<br /><br />
 
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 14, 2018
Glad you liked it! Those alterations sound delicious.