To roast a whole eggplant, wipe the eggplant clean and slice them in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh deeply in a diamond cross-hatch pattern by making two or three long cuts, cutting at a steep angle, and then rotating the eggplant to make another set of similar cuts. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle salt (1 to 1-1/2 tsp. total for all the halves) over the surface and into the cuts. Set aside, cut side up, for 30 min.
Over the sink, rinse and gently squeeze the eggplant to extract the salty juice, and then wipe them dry with a paper towel. Brush each half thoroughly with olive oil (about 1-2 tsp. per half, depending on size) and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange each half, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for about one hour at 400°F. The eggplant will collapse and the bottoms will be a very deep caramel color. Let cool considerably before handling, at least 20 min. Gently turn the cut side up, and with a spoon separate the flesh from the skin. Roast eggplant can be eaten as is or used in a variety of recipes.
This content was originally published on my personal blog, in 2011.