Roasted Japanese Eggplant With Crushed Tomato, Pecorino and Thyme

Roasted Japanese Eggplant With Crushed Tomato, Pecorino and Thyme

This roasted eggplant was adapted from a recipe from the Phoenix chef Chris Bianco, who regularly showcases Arizona eggplant as an antipasto at his restaurants Pizzeria Bianco and Tratto. But it works just as well with thick sliced conventional eggplant, and tomato sauce or sweet peppers substituted for the heirloom tomato. The succulent roasted eggplant comes together with the comforting flavors of the thyme, garlic and tomato. Serve as a side, or pair with polenta or fresh bread to round out a main course.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Step 2

    Peel the eggplant and place in a roasting pan or dish. Coat eggplant with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and light golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    While the eggplant cooks, hand-crush the tomato in a medium bowl and add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining olive oil and thyme sprigs. Stir to combine.
  4. Step 4

    When eggplant is tender and light golden brown, add tomato mixture to the roasting pan, and roast for another 10 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Scatter with pecorino and roast for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Step 6

    Transfer to a serving dish, including the pan drippings, and serve hot.