Roasted Herbed Baby Eggplants - Easy

I've been attempting to improve my photo-taking ability so I started to study food photographer blogs.  I noticed that many of their best work, at least the stuff I can imitate, seem to involve a window.  How's this one?   Not quite food porn, but I'm getting close.  Maybe food-PG.

Speaking of close, the pros also do very close close-ups.  How do you like dem apples ... I mean eggplants?  Ooh!  Ahh! 

These are baby eggplants.  And, no, I didn't grill these babies ... those are not even grill marks.    I learned how to do this from A Veggie Venture.  It's a very simple recipe ... eggplants, a few herbs, garlic and a touch of oil.  Plus  a (very) little amount of knife-wielding.  Those non-grill marks really look fancy-schmancy, don't they? Don't be intimidated ... it's really easy!  And I didn't even cut myself for a change.

If you plan to serve this as a main course (or to make them more substantial), feel free to optionally top with grated cheese and/or fresh buttered bread crumbs. 

By now you should have realized that I am a proponent of fresh herbs and this recipe is no exception.  Except ... if you don't have the luxury of stepping over to your herb garden to snip some herbs  and the local Try-n-Save doesn't carry the fresh stuff, then I'll allow you this once to make tonight's recipe with the dried stuff.  Just remember that although these eggplants will taste great, they will be even more awesome next time with the fresh stuff.

Roasted Herbed Baby Eggplants
Adapted from:  A Veggie Venture
Makes 3 servings

1 Tbl. olive oil, plus another teaspoon for greasing pan
3 baby eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
3 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
3 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. chopped garlic (about 2 cloves), bottled okay
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly grease a rimmed small cookie sheet or baking pan with teaspoon of oil.  Set aside.

Slice off the stem end of each eggplant, then cut each eggplant in half lengthwise.

Here's the secret to those lovely non-grill marks:  deeply slash each half several times (almost, but not all the way through), then turn the halves and slash again to make pretty crosshatches. Now you know the secret, don't tell a soul!

Mix the herbs, garlic and salt together, then divide evenly over the halves. Gently press mixture into the slashes.  Transfer to prepared pan and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of oil.

Place pan in oven and bake 20-30 minutes or until eggplants are softened and the slashes turn a lovely brown, almost charred look.  Transfer eggplants to a serving platter.

Here's another close-up.  Yum!  Serve hot or warm as a side-dish.


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