Roasted Chipotle Eggplant

I came up with this recipe last November when I was cooking for a women's retreat up in Vermont. Each day I was responsible for feeding an incredible group of women with very varied dietary restrictions and preferences.

For one of the meals--I think it was a lunch--I had planned to make grilled chipotle-marinated chicken breasts, but wasn't quite sure what to do for the vegetarians and vegan in the group.

I started looking around for something to put the chipotle marinade on, and noticed a pile of eggplants in a bowl. I sliced them up thickly, brushed them on each side with the marinade, and popped them in the oven to roast.

The results were awesome! Tender, flavorful, and just the perfect amount of spicy. The two trays of eggplant disappeared long before the chicken did and I had an official new favorite.

Since the retreat, a group of my fellow NYC-based women and I get together about once a month to continue to encourage and help each other accomplish our individual goals.

I was lucky enough to host the most recent meeting yesterday, and while deciding what to make for lunch, I remembered the eggplant dish. I made it again, and once again, it was a hit.

The key to this recipe is the chipotle-flavored Tabasco. It's one of my pantry staples because it adds incredible heat and smoke with just a few dashes. If you can't find it, you can also use canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but I definitely encourage you to seek out the Tabasco--it's so worth it!

So here it is for you. I think this will be a great summer side dish and can be prepared in the oven or on the grill. Just as good hot as it is cold, and the leftover keep really well (if there are any). Make some extra and try them in a wrap or sandwich. Simply wonderful!

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Roasted Chipotle Eggplant
Serves 4 as a side or appetizer

1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chipotle Tabasco sauce (Like this) OR pureed chipotles in adobo sauce (like this)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Slice eggplants into 1/2"-thick rounds and lay on baking sheet.
Whisk together olive oil and Tabasco or pureed chipotles. Brush onto the eggplant, then turn and brush the other side of the eggplant.
Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast an additional 10 minutes, or until completely cooked through and tender. Serve hot or room temperature. Sprinkle with a bit of salt before serving, if desired.

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