I find most roasted vegetables pair really well with hummus but this roasted Japanese eggplant is easily in my top three. The eggplant and hummus are a great pair on their own but add in an herby drizzle of chimichurri and it takes this dish right over the top.
This recipe is actually pretty simple, even with the homemade chimichurri. That herb-loaded sauce is something I highly recommend getting real comfortable with making. It goes incredibly well with so many dishes: roasted and grilled meats, raw or cooked veggies, eggs, rice. Basically anything that needs a seriously fresh kick of flavor. And it’s as complicated as throwing all the ingredients into a food processor and blending it all up.
I like this roasted Japanese eggplant dish as either a light lunch or a “looks fancier than it is” side dish. And it’s just as good at room temperature as it is hot. So it makes for a great pot luck dish, too!
Why I Like This Recipe
Eggplants are a nutritional powerhouse and this one takes advantage of the extra-pretty Japanese variety. While it might not affect the nutrient-density, I do like it when a meal is visually appealing.
The goat cheese is totally optional but I find the earthy, tangy flavor to be a nice addition here. Goat cheese also tends to be easier to digest, which is always a nice plus.
Hummus is a great way to add both protein and fat to a vegetable-based dish. You can easily use your favorite store-bought brand or check out my favorite recipe here.
As mentioned, chimichurri is a great way to add loads of flavor to just about any dish. Plus, it’s quite nutrient-dense! The parsley has crazy amounts of vitamins A, C, and K. And oregano is high in antioxidants and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Roasted Japanese Eggplant with Chimichurri and Hummus
- 2-3 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, optional
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, optional
- 1/2 cup prepared hummus
- 1 bunch fresh parsley (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
- 1 handful fresh oregano*
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 – 1 cup olive oil
- Place eggplant slices in a medium colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let eggplant sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the salt to draw out the bitterness and excess moisture in the eggplant.
- Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
- Rinse eggplant briefly with cold water, drain, and spread out on a kitchen towel to dry before placing in a medium bowl and tossing with avocado oil. Spread eggplant in a single layer over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle it with pepper and a pinch of salt. Roast in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, until eggplant is browned nicely. Remove from the oven, adjust seasoning as needed, and set aside.
- While eggplant is cooking, make the chimichurri by combining parsley, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process on high until everything is combined and finely chopped. With the food processor running, add in olive oil in an even stream. Process for a few more seconds.
- To serve, spread the hummus evenly over a serving platter. Top with roasted eggplant and sprinkle with goat cheese and nuts. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of chimichurri, serving the leftovers in a small bowl for extra drizzling, as desired.