Honey and harissa roasted eggplant is sweet and spicy and deliciously creamy on the inside.
Eggplant, (like and kale and beets) is one of those vegetables people tend to have pretty strong opinions about. You either love it or hate it and that’s that.
I can certainly understand why eggplant can be hard to love, it so often can be bland and spongy when not prepared correctly and quite heavy as well since it soaks up oil so readily. But just like the aforementioned kale and beets, the key to transforming eggplant haters into eggplant lovers is in the preparation. In this case the secret is heat.
Roasting eggplant in the oven is so easy (no salting necessary) and you end up with eggplant that’s delicate and tender, not oily. The screamingly high heat of the oven transforms the insides from spongy to wonderfully silky.
While eggplant comes in a variety of shapes and sizes I like to stick to the smaller ones for roasting so that they cook evenly throughout. Look for ones that have smooth shiny skin and are firm to the touch (soft ones will be spongy).
I’ve added a honey harissa glaze before going into the oven to accent the mellow creaminess of the eggplant. The honey helps the cut surface of the eggplant caramelize under the heat while the harissa brings plenty of spice to offset the sweetness. There’s also garlic and cumin to round out those North African inspired flavors.
What you end up with is a dish that’s vibrant with flavor and fantastically creamy. Sprinkle it with some fresh mint to finish or serve it on a bed of lightly dressed greens with some crumbled goat cheese on top for a more substantial meal.
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