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Hasselback Roasted Eggplant With Fresh Tzatziki

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Really pretty, and pretty simple.

casserole of unbaked hasselback roasted eggplant with tomatoes

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. I only make it in late summer and early fall, but that brief window is filled with eggplant parmesan, baba ganoush, eggplant kebabs, and more eggplant. Raw eggplant tends to have the texture of dry sponge: soft yet hard, and quite dry. But dosed with a good amount of salt and cooked for a long time, eggplant becomes a silky, indulgent vegetable. This hasselback roasted eggplant is one my favorite example of eggplant living its best life.

You’ll also like: Baked Zucchini Parmesan and Creamy Tzatziki

bowl of eggplant on marble

Recipe Notes: Hasselback Roasted Eggplant

This recipes almost doesn’t even require a recipe. It doesn’t require much effort, either. Just some passive time. First, you have to toss the eggplant slices in a good amount of salt. This sweats out the bitterness and extra moisture, and adds flavor. Then, rearrange the eggplant slices in rows to make them hasselback, drizzle with olive oil, and bake.

I prefer using long Japanese eggplant instead of big, bulbous Italian eggplant. Both taste great, but the Japanese eggplant’s uniform size makes it much more forgiving when rearranging the slices back into rows.

You can serve the finished hasselback eggplant dish plain, but I strongly recommend adding dollops of fresh tzatziki for a tangy, fresh balance to the salty, earthy eggplant. Make this recipe, with or without the cucumbers. It takes minutes.

colander of sliced eggplant with casserole dish for hasselback

Finally, a word about salting eggplant. Eggplant really is like a sponge, both in texture, and in action. Eggplant appears dry and firm, but actually contains a lot of water, which you want to remove for the dish to bake properly. Raw eggplant also tastes quite bland, just this side of bitter. Salting seasons the eggplant, and draws out excess water. Let the eggplant brine for 30 to 60 minutes, with a plate beneath the colander to catch the liquid. Then pat dry — do not rinse — and proceed.

Did you make this Hasselback Roasted Eggplant? What did you think?

platter of hasselback eggplant parmesan with mint and tzatziki and serving utensils

platter of hasselback eggplant parmesan with mint and tzatziki and serving utensils

Roasted Hasselback Eggplant With Easy Tzatziki

A healthy, gorgeous eggplant dish that requires almost no effort? Yes, please.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Salting Time for Eggplant30 minutes
Course: dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian, Mediterranean
Keywords:: baked dishes, easy, eggplant, hasselback, summer recipes, tzatziki, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound Japanese or Chinese eggplant (about 2 large)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, up to 2 tablespoons if you like salt
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, optional
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe fresh tzatziki, to finish (use some extra mint leaves to garnish)

Instructions

  • Slice the eggplant 1/4 inch thick. Remove the ends, but reserve. Toss the eggplant slices in the kosher salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Pat the eggplant dry with a clean dish towel or paper towels.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and drizzle some of the olive oil in the bottom of a casserole pan or rimmed baking sheet.
  • Arrange the eggplant slices in two neat, upright rows. If using, add the grape tomatoes around the eggplant, and drizzle everything with the rest of the olive oil. Add some fresh-cracked black pepper.
  • Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the eggplant is very soft. Taste for seasoning.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, dolloped with fresh tzatziki and garnished with some fresh mint leaves.

6 comments

  • 5 stars
    Excellent! I didn’t rebuild the eggplant but just spread the slices flat around the pan. Everyone loved the “rub” and I said it’s just salt and oil!

    • Unpeeled

      Fantastic! So glad you liked it. Isn’t it amazing what a little salt and olive oil can do? 😉

  • Janine M.

    4 stars
    A little time consuming with the salting and then baking, but it did taste so good. Would it be ok to cook at a higher temperature to cut down on baking time? LOVED the tzatziki with it.

    • Unpeeled

      Hi, Janine! Great question. I think you may risk burning the skin — eggplant gets very smoky tasting very quickly — but next time, try kicking it up to 375 and let me know. I’ll do the same. I wouldn’t go any hotter than that, for vegetables in general.

  • 5 stars
    a great, easy way to cook eggplant and it does look really beautiful like this. I served it right from the casserole pan.

  • 5 stars
    This was so easy. I did use an Italian eggplant so it was a little harder to reassemble, but not too bad and it tasted great. I did a squeeze of lemon juice instead of the tzatziki, and garnished with some fresh parsley on top, and loved it. Next time I will use tzatziki.

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