Smoky Roasted Eggplant with cuban mojo sauce
Simple, delicious and bursting with bold flavors this dish features a crispy brown outside with a creamy sweet inside then is topped with a garlicky Cuban mojo sauce.
Let me interrupt this post and make a public service announcement, I pledge to get more eggplant into my life. Eggplant has to be one of the most underrated vegetables out there. How many of you look at an oblong weirdly shaped purple veggie and know what to do with it? If you’re like me and have no clue how to prepare at home – cut it into wedges, rub with olive oil, season simply, roast and finish with a good sauce. Roasting brings out the rich, intense flavor of eggplant. The eggplant is transformed into smokey, decadent deliciousness.
I discovered eggplant in middle school. We were studying Egyptian history in my social studies class and one of my classmates brought in an eggplant dish as part of his presentation. I wouldn’t describe the all-boys school the bastion of maturity so as you’d expect we clowned our poor friend and denounced eggplant as Egyptian poop. The reality is I kind of enjoyed it, but having grown-up on beans and rice I had no frame of reference. Eggplant was a new world food for me. I made a mental note of its smokiness, but it would be years before I ever had eggplant again.
Most eggplant recipes call for a tomato or yogurt based sauce given popularity of eggplant in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. I wanted to change things up and add some Summer Caribbean influence. I’ve been experimenting with Cuban mojo sauce recipes and felt like it would be a great compliment to the smoky oven roasted eggplant. The beauty of mojo is it tastes wonderful, brightens any dish, and is super simple to make!
Smoky Roasted Eggplant Cooking tips
- Be careful with olive oil amount. Eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge instantaneously so for most recipes you’ll want to be generous, but not so much that it becomes saturated with oil. Of all the cooking methods, roasting probably requires the least amount of oil.
- If using a sauce choose one that compliments eggplant in flavor vs. muting it. I personally stay away from big tomato based sauces as they tend to hand that natural, rich, and smokey flavor. The Cuban mojo sauce with its garlicky citrus profile actually acts as a flavor enhancer.
- Choose eggplant with a smooth, shiny skin that’s unwrinkled and cook at it’s freshest
- Be sure to cook thoroughly to get that meltingly soft and creamy texture and to maximize flavor; fully cooking also makes it more receptive to other flavors.
Roasted Eggplant with Cuban Mojo Sauce
If you make this easy, spicy roasted eggplant with Cuban mojo sauce please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.
Dope beats, fresh eats, enjoy this oven roasted eggplant as a meaty vegan side.
Smoky Roasted Eggplant w/ Cuban Mojo Sauce
Smoky Roasted Eggplant Ingredients
- 2 medium eggplants halved each half cut into 4 wedges
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp Paprika
- Kosher salt and pepper
Cuban Mojo Sauce Ingredients
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 2/3 cup fresh sour orange juice or 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice and 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Smoky Roasted Eggplant Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line 1 medium baking pan with parchment paper. Place the eggplant wedges and olive oil in a large bowl, season with paprika, salt and pepper, then toss to coat well. Arrange the eggplant on the pan in a single layer, then bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the eggplant has softened and is a deep golden color. Place the roasted eggplant on a serving platter, drizzle with the mojo sauce then serve sprinkled with more paprika.
Cuban Mojo Sauce Instructions
- Place garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and work into a smooth paste.
- In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, sour orange juice, oil, oregano, cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sour Oranges are sold in most Caribbean markets and selct grocery stores. If you can't find them substitute a mix of fresh lime and orange juice.