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How to (roast?) eggplant?

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I love eggplant, but I seem to have a lot of trouble cooking it. Specifically, I would love to learn how to make it so that its like those slightly oily, soft rounds with crispy skins that I sometimes find on salads or stuffed inside a falafel sandwich (best: L'aus du falafel in Paris). I have no idea what to even call this - is it roasted? Sauteed? I want to know this method so I can make it at home. Any tips?
PS: I have a ceramic-top electric stovetop, so hopefully I won't discover that I need to roast the eggplant over an open flame to do this...

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    1. What you describe is generally oven-roasted, but you can also do this on a panini press or waffle iron. In all 3 cases, brush with oil first.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        Here on CH, Scuzzo introduced the idea of dipping sliced eggplant in egg and "breading" with grated Parmesan before waffle-baking it....it is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors.

      2. Cut into cubes or slices- and toss with olive oil. The eggplant will suck up all the oil, so don't add too much. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and roast till it's tender. If it starts to get dry, you can add a drizzle of oil.

        BTW- the eggplant in L'aus du Falafel is deep fried.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cheesecake17

          Aha, Cheesecake, THAT'S why it's so delicious :) Well, now that I know that it (and probably other eggplant pieces I've had at some other restaurants, too) is deep fried, I won't expect the same results when I'm doing it here at home.

          I've tried roasting it in the oven before but it always just gets tough and chewy. Maybe I'll try the waffle iron idea.

          1. re: anakalia

            The falafel places typically fry their eggplant- you should see the amount of oil that stuff absorbs!

            If you roast it in the oven, make sure you don't do it on a high temp...I find it gets chewy that way. Also, make sure you use enough oil.

            Another fabulous eggplant idea- cut rounds and dip in olive oil and kellog's cornflake crumbs and bake. You could fool anyone that it's fried