About This Traditional Roasted Eggplant Salad Recipe
When most people think of eggplant, they think of a dish that is fried and greasy. But when I think of eggplant, I think of a roasted and creamy salad that takes me straight back to my childhood.
Growing up, my market was right in my backyard — my grandparents’ huge garden. They grew everything from berries to tomatoes and zucchini, and their eggplant plants always produced an abundance of purple beauties. One of my favorite dishes they would make was traditional roasted eggplant salad.
The eggplant is roasted until tender and smoky and then peeled, chopped, and mixed with onion, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s the perfect late summer dish — fresh, healthy, and full of flavor.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I liked it so much that I used to eat it while the eggplants were still warm, directly with a spoon or with some freshly baked bread and flavorful fresh tomatoes.
And because there were always plenty of eggplants, my grandma used to roast, peel, and chop them, then place them in freezer bags and freeze them, so we could enjoy this wonderful and creamy eggplant salad even in the winter when the eggplants were not in season anymore.
I may no longer have access to my grandparents’ garden, but every time I make this traditional salad, it transports me right back to those warm summers spent helping out in the garden. And, of course, it’s always delicious. Give it a try today!
What You Need for This Traditional Roasted Eggplant Salad Recipe
- Eggplant: I have used pearl brinjal, which is a type of eggplant cultivated in India, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Africa, but any kind is suitable for this recipe. Just make sure the skin is smooth, and the flesh feels firm because any soft spots indicate that the eggplant is starting to spoil.
- Shallot: I have used shallot because it has a milder taste, and I have finely chopped it.
- Lemon Juice: I like to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a bright, citrusy flavor.
- Mustard: I have used Dijon mustard for a crisp, tart-and-tangy flavor.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It is important to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil that gives a fresh fruity and peppery taste.
- Seasonings: I have used just salt and black pepper to season the salad.
- Lemon Juice: It can be substituted with lime juice or vinegar.
- Mustard: It can be substituted with mayonnaise.
- Shallot: It can be replaced with onion.
Can I make this roasted eggplant salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for one week.
How to serve this salad?
You can enjoy the roasted eggplant salad as a dip or spread and pair it with bread or crackers, carrot sticks, pita bread, sliced cucumbers, tortilla chips, bell pepper slices, or celery sticks.
Traditional Roasted Eggplant Salad
The combination of the roasted eggplant and the bright lemon flavor in this salad creates an incredibly light, healthy, and comforting meal.
Yield: 1 serving
To serve (optional):
How To Make Traditional Roasted Eggplant Salad Step By Step
Preheat the oven to 200℃ / 400℉. Wash and dry the eggplant, cut the stem end and bottom, then cut it in half lengthwise. Using a knife, score the flesh of each eggplant half diagonally, and cut deep into the flesh but ensure not to cut through the skin.
Place the eggplant face-up on a baking sheet and roast it in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the back or skin of the eggplant looks puckered and caved in.
Once roasted, place the eggplant in a bowl and leave it covered with a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes.
Peel the skin off or scoop out the flesh and chop it finely.
Put the chopped eggplant flesh in a bowl, add the finely chopped shallot, mustard, and lemon juice, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add the extra virgin olive oil a little at a time, mixing continuously.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with bread and tomatoes if you wish.
- The eggplant can be roasted in several ways, such as on an open flame, on a hot stove, on the BBQ, on hot coals, or in the oven, like in this case.
- The total cook time will differ according to the size of the eggplant and the way of roasting.
- If you roast the eggplant in a different way, and you roast it whole, just make sure to turn it on all sides to ensure even cooking, and poke it with a fork before cooking to let the juices out.