Chef Serge: Roasted Turkish Eggplant



1 Italian eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise

1 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes, drained

1 whole head of garlic

6 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, small dice

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. cumin, ground

1 tsp. coriander, ground

½ tsp. cardamom, ground

1 tsp. red pepper paste fresh mint

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the top off the garlic head. Place the garlic in a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes until soft. Set aside. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Use the tip of a paring knife to score the cut side of the eggplant on a bias. Repeat the process slicing the opposite direction. Season the scored side of the eggplants with Kosher salt. Place the eggplant, cut side down, on a paper towel. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. This will allow the excess water to leach out from the eggplants to remove moisture and bitterness. Pat off the excess water with a paper towel. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the cut side of each half and place cut side up on a sheet pan. Put in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. Turn eggplant over and roast another 15-20 minutes, until the flesh is tender. Use a spoon to scoop the cooked eggplant from the skins. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute 2-3 minutes until translucent. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook for 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, drained tomatoes, and red pepper paste to the onions and cook over medium heat for 10- 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate garnish with fresh mint.

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