I stumbled upon these beauties at a farm stand this week and couldn’t resist. They’re called fairy tale eggplants. I kid you not. Fairy tale eggplants are tiny in comparison to other varieties of eggplant and have a more tender skin, which makes them the ideal roasting candidate. I’ll admit, I don’t love the classic large and deep purple eggplant. And by don’t love, I mean you’ll rarely catch me buying one in a grocery store or at a farmer’s market. Unless I’m making eggplant parmesan. That’s really the only exception…and what a delicious one it is.
Anyway. Now I’ve become moderately obsessed with fairy tale eggplants. It’s definitely a combination of their name, taste, size and color. I’m sure I’ve told you by now that I have a thing for mini foods. And these guys totally fit the bill. I also get a huge kick out of their name. So much so that I found myself at this farm stand at least once a week buying pounds upon pounds of fairly tale eggplants. Womp. I’ve stopped now and am sad to report that I am on a temporary fairy tale eggplant hiatus.
meyer lemon thyme roasted eggplant
6 fairy tale eggplants, halved
2 meyer lemons
1 tbsp sea salt or other coarsely ground salt
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice the fairy tale eggplants in half and place them cut side up on a baking sheet. Don’t worry about removing their stems, they make it easy to eat as finger food.
Zest both of the meyer lemons and place the zest in a small bowl. Juice one of the lemons and add it to the zest with the salt and papper. Add the olive oil, thyme and pepper. Sir to incorporate and let the olive oil mixture sit for a while to absorb the lemon flavors.
Using a pastry brush, coat the cut side of the eggplants with the olive oil. Make sure you get a little zest on each eggplant. No playing favorites, now.
Bake the eggplant for 15 minutes. If you’re using a variety other than fairy tale, you may have to increase the baking time. Fairy tale eggplants are on the smaller side so watch the oven after 15 minutes.