Sometimes some of my best creations in the kitchen happen by accident. This was one of them. I had one lonely leftover eggplant that was in danger of going bad and a whole pack of sliced portabello mushrooms that I hadn’t used yet. I had already decided that I was going to be cooking up some mahi mahi burgers from the freezer that night because I really didn’t feel like cooking but then I remembered that I had these vegetables and the thought of food going bad and then throwing it out makes me really sad. So, I thought I’d just try roasting them. I roast veggies all the time and I think it’s the best way to cook them. They get carmelized and crisp on the outside but tender on the inside. Delicious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how eggplant and mushrooms would turn out if I just roasted them in the oven like I do so many other favorite vegetables. Sometimes eggplant can be bitter if it’s not cooked the right way so this was a gamble. But, as I said, I didn’t feel like cooking and roasting vegetables is so easy that it almost doesn’t even count as cooking. The oven does all the work.
Let me just say that what I thought would be an average maybe even bad dish turned out to be one of the best vegetable side dishes I’ve ever made. And it is SO easy. I am going to stop at the grocery store after work today to pick up more eggplant and mushrooms because I’m going to make it again tonight. It was THAT good.
*Note – I use a stoneware baking sheet for roasting. The vegetables don’t ever stick or burn. If you don’t have a stoneware baking sheet, you can use a regular one. Just check on the vegetables occasionally because they tend to cook quicker on regular baking sheets.
1 medium sized eggplant
12 oz. of sliced baby portabello mushrooms
3 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Rinse and cut the eggplant into bite sized pieces. Place the eggplant and mushrooms onto a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle the eggplant and mushrooms liberally with the olive oil and sprinkle them with garlic salt and black pepper. Using your hands, toss the eggplant and mushrooms together making sure they get coated with the olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper. Then spread the vegetables into an even layer so that they aren’t overlapping or crowding one another.
4. Slide the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake the vegetables for 20-30 minutes (30 minutes if using a stoneware baking sheet).
5. Once the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and pour about 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the vegetables while they are still hot. You can do this right on the baking sheet. Toss the vegetables together so that they get coated with the balsamic vinegar. Serve hot.
These were great along side the frozen mahi mahi burgers. I served the burgers on brioche rolls with dijon mustard, baby spinach, a sprinkling of lime juice and some grated cheese to make them a little bit more fancy. Dinner doesn’t always have to be difficult to be tasty! I enjoyed this meal immensely.