Roasted Fairytale Eggplant

IMG_1236These tiny eggplants have a short season, about one month. You can find them in your local open-air markets. They are beautiful, delicious and easy to prepare. You can serve them as an appetizer or as a side dish.



Roasted Fairytale Eggplant

Roasted Fairytale Eggplant


  • 15 eggplants, approximately
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly (about 8 slices)
  • Cut each slice into two the long way
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Wash and dry eggplants. 
  3. Make a slit in each eggplant and slide in a piece of garlic.
  4. Place the eggplants in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Season with some of the salt and pepper.
  6. Toss again using a rubber spatula.
  7. Place an iron skillet over high heat for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the eggplants to the skillet and using a rubber spatula scape in any oil that clings to the bowl.
  9. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggplants are soft.
  10. Place on a serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool 5 minutes and then have your guests pick the eggplants up by the stem and eat them with their hands, leaving only the stem behind.

4 comments… add one
  • Laurie Gelbart September 11, 2014, 9:19 pm

    These look great. Going out East tomorrow, are the open air markets still open? If so, which ones?

  • Caroline Roth September 11, 2014, 9:26 pm

    Looks great Karen. I was wondering what to do with those little things!
    Hope all is well w u. We are hanging in. Did you see the thing about Betty Fussell in the NYTimes. Not very interesting, but nice for her I’m sure.

  • Nathaniel July 8, 2015, 6:56 pm

    Just made it, and it was not good. One problem may have been that I had let the eggplants sit on my counter for a week before using them; I know freshness matters a lot for eggplant. But I think this recipe has some flaws regardless.
    Specifically, the salt on the outside doesn’t penetrate during cooking, and the garlic and with the mushy cooked inside isn’t good. You’ve got to get salt in there somehow.
    And speaking of mushy – I think there’s a pretty narrow window with these fairytale eggplants between uncooked and unappetizingly mushy. So you need to either make this recipe several times and figure out the exact cook time or watch these closely.
    I don’t know – I think you’d do better just slicing these quarter-inch thick and roasting/frying them in olive oil and garlic.

  • Adam E July 21, 2015, 4:17 pm

    Made these today and they came out great! Just added a little bit of lemon, and little extra garlic…


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