Parmesan Roasted Eggplant
Having access to fresh eggplant is something I used to take for granted.
It doesn’t live where I live. I even tried growing it last year… Nothing. 🙁
So when we were recently in a more southerly direction, you better believe I stopped by Trader Joe’s to stock up on some staples. And eggplant was in the mix.
The next day, I made one of our favorite simple side dishes: Parmesan Roasted Eggplant.
Why You Need To Be Eating More Eggplant
Eggplant is colorful! And color in veggies and fruits is a sure sign of nutrition, antioxidants, and enzymes!
Eggplants are super high in fiber, but low in starch — so they’re excellent for gut health (ahem, regularity). This high fiber helps you feel full without eating a large amount of food, so eat more eggplant if you’re watching your waistline.
They contain many nutrients that have been shown to prevent cancer and increase overall health and the immune system, including Vitamin C, phytonutrients, iron, manganese, and antioxidants.
Eggplants are also rich in two little-known organic antioxidants: nasunin and chlorogenic acid. These antioxidants have exhibited powerful forces against free radicals (the substances that contribute to causing cancer). Animal studies of the effects of nasunin on the brain are showing that this antioxidant, an anthocyanin, may inhibit detrimental behavior in the brain, such as the neural degeneration that causes diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia (source).
And don’t be tempted to cut that beautiful purple skin off! Most of these amazing nutrients are found in the skin!
Roasting, baking, or sauteeing eggplant are the preferred cooking methods, since they will retain the most nutrients. Frying, charring, or burning eggplant destroys it’s nutrition and renders it a dead food.
Parmesan Roasted Eggplant is one of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy this lovely vegetable!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 eggplant
- olive oil for drizzling
- pepper or white pepper (I use white pepper.)
- garlic powder
- Parmesan cheese, powdered or finely grated (Here’s how I powder fresh Parmesan!)
Serves 3-4 people.
Here’s how you do it:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with a piece of parchment paper.
Slice off the ends of the eggplant and discard, compost, or feed to your chickens. Then slice the eggplant into uniform discs, 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick.
Lay the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle each piece with olive oil, then use a brush to spread the oil out so that the slices are evenly moistened with oil. This will keep your eggplant from becoming chewy while cooking.
Next, sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in the oven, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the pieces begin to curl up around the edges and slightly brown.
When this happens, sprinkle your desired amount of Parmesan on each slice of eggplant, return to the oven, and bake a few more minutes. We like our Parmesan to brown a bit and crisp up.
Remove from the oven and serve alongside anything!