Meal prep Eggplant…You should consider it!! Basically, once you roast and peel it in bulk during the weekend, you can store it in the refrigerator and use its creamy flesh throughout the week to whip up a variety of quick and delicious dishes.
Roasting eggplant is so prevalent across so many recipes, North Indian, South Indian, African, Mediterranean and other cuisines, that you will not run out of ideas and your kids will not get bored.
Weekends are slower at my household, just like most families. So, I just put some music in the background…and while cooking lunch, I get some passive prep work done for the week ahead.
In the case of eggplants, I just wash the eggplants and stick them in the oven. I don’t have to do anything actively to the eggplants. They just get roasted and caramelized inside the oven.
Once they are done, I leave them to cool. After a few hours, like say, after finishing my lunch, I take a few minutes to peel the eggplants and store them in a container in the refrigerator.
Oven rules for roasting eggplant:
All you need is: 1) High temperature and 2) Long times
Temp – 400F (200C), Time – 1:15 hours
Try no to go lower than 400F (200C), because then it becomes more of a cooking than roasting process.
I have also roasted at 450F (230C), with great results. The timing, however, will be slightly lower. You will know when you open the oven and see the eggplant all soft and wrinkly, then it is done.
I suppose, you could broil the eggplant (super high temp – 500F (260C) or higher) and speed up the process. But, you have to open and turn the eggplant regularly to prevent it from burning. The fear of burning my hand every time I stick it under the broiler, makes this my least favorite method.
Any other tips??
Always make a slit in the brinjal or otherwise you will have a mini-explosion inside your oven. This is from the water in the eggplant, having no place to escape.
I would not make the slit too large, otherwise, the eggplant will get drier and drier as it cooks. So, just a small slit for the excess steam to escape.Make a small slit
I would add a foil liner to the bottom of the tray. This makes cleanup so easy.
Otherwise the juices from the eggplant and the long cooking times, will stain your tray.
You then want your spouse to clean up the tray, who then complains that you should have used a liner in the first place, and then you bring up how he does not unroll his socks in the laundry….Yada, yada, yada…long story short – Use a liner!!
Some Recipe Ideas:
The creamy eggplant flesh is like a canvas. You could add different spices and come up with different dishes:
How about a nice Baba Ghanoush tray for the kids to snack on after school?
Super easy to make, minimal ingredients:
Do you want to make a super spicy Andhra venkaya pachadi inspired from “Cooking with Pedhatha”?
Makes a perfect accompaniment to hot rice or even serve it with chapathi.
Or maybe you want to make whole curry instead of a puree….just dice the roasted eggplant and saute with spices.
A Super easy veggie side dish, ready in less than 10 minutes:
Or maybe you want to make it North Indian style – Saute onion, garlic with garam masala and other spices and a quick baingan bartha is ready.
Or an African salsa like Baigan choka.
The options are endless…
Hope this post inspires you to meal prep your eggplant. What other vegetables are you fond of oven-roasting? Share your thoughts, comments down below. As always, I love hearing from you!!
*This post contains an affiliate link – Cooking with Pedhatha book*