This was a comparison test to determine the difference between eggplant slices roasted both with and without added oil.
Below is a video of the actual comparison test. The written test notes and results follow the video.
One eggplant was prepared by removing both ends, then it was peeled and sliced into about ¼-inch slices. Both sides of each slice were lightly salted, then allowed to sweat for 15 minutes. Both sides of each slice were then patted dry with a paper towel.
The prepared slices were divided into two groups, one with oil and one without oil. The “with oil” slices were lightly coated on both sides with extra virgin olive oil using a pastry brush. The slices were placed on the same parchment paper-lined baking sheet pan, with the oil treated slices on one side and the no-oil slices on the other side.
The eggplant slices were then sprinkled with garlic powder and dried Italian seasoning. The pan was placed in a 400°F oven, on the middle rack, for 33 minutes. The slices were turned over at 15 minutes into the baking time, and then again after another 15 minutes.
They were allowed to cool slightly, then tasted. The results are as follows:
Oil treated slices:
The slices were somewhat moist with a bit of eggplant flavor. The seasoning flavors were good. They browned a lot, with some slices almost burning. Less oven time would have been best for the oil treated slices.
These slices were slower to roast and brown then the oil treated slices. They were dry and a bit rubbery in texture. The flavor of the seasonings was about the same as the oil treated slices. However, there was less eggplant flavor since they had less moisture content.
Our personal favorite:
My husband and I were the only taste testers for this comparison. However, we both preferred the oil-treated slices because they were less dry and rubbery, and had a slightly better flavor with the added moisture content from the oil.
For best flavor and texture, I suggest that eggplant be sliced a little thicker, up to ½-inch thick, then brushed with a mixture of half oil of choice and half water. This will add moisture back into the eggplant and also coat it with a little oil for enhanced browning, flavor, and moisture retention. Roast in the same method as above, but remove it from the oven when the slices are golden, not allowing them to over-brown nor burn.
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.