Eggplant is one of my favorite foods. It is almost decadent with its creamy texture, and so versatile because it loves soaking in the flavors of seasonings or sauces like a thirsty sponge. Eggplant is like the guy everyone gets along with — super easy going and plays well with others.
This attribute is especially valuable in a recipe like this, where some seriously vibrant flavors are at work. Thank you, The Kitchn, you never let me down. I made some adjustments, swapping in ribbons of mint for parsley, and feta in place of goat cheese, but the rest the preparation was spot on. The dish is a bit tangy, a bit smoky, creamy, fresh, mouthwatering. Healthy and light, yet comforting and indulgent at the same time.
The eggplant is tossed in a marinade of olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic, and then roasted until all that goodness is baked in.
After the eggplant is done roasting, it’s dressed in lemon juice and soy sauce, and finished off with a handful of almonds, feta, scallions, and mint. And that’s it! The result is incredible.
I’ve been eating it as a salad with big handfuls of baby spinach thrown in, as a side with steak, made into a wrap with a bit of grilled chicken, even in the morning with a few eggs over easy. I’m a little obsessed…and pretty sure you’ll also find yourself coming back to this dish again and again.
Roasted Eggplant Salad with Almonds, Feta, and Mint
Eggplant is tossed in a flavor-packed marinade, roasted until golden and creamy, and then dressed in lemon, soy sauce, almonds, feta, mint, and scallions. You’ll be coming back to this again and again -- as a side, on its own, in a wrap, served with eggs…it’s a good every which way! (Adapted from The Kitchn.)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
2 large Japanese eggplants, about 2 pounds
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while you make the marinade.
- Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Toss the cubed eggplant in the marinade. Stir in the garlic.
- Spread the eggplant onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir after 20 minutes and check it at 30 minutes to make sure it is not burning.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- Whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce. Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture. Stir in the mint, almonds, and most of the cheese, reserving a little for garnishing.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved feta and scallions on top.