Charcoal-Roasted Eggplant with Aromatic Herbs and Chili Oil

Charcoal-Roasted Eggplant with Aromatic Herbs and Chili Oil


Tip before the trip: Make herb and chili mix ahead of time

Serves 4

  • 4 medium eggplants
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 sprig lovage
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

Dried Herb and Chili Mix:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • 3 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp oil

To Serve:

  • Zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 sprig of celery leaves


Step 1: Make Herb & Chili Mix

Pour all the ingredients, except oil, for the herb and chili mix in a mortar. Roughly crush and mix together. Transfer to an airtight container. Mix in oil before serving.

Step 2: Roast Eggplants

Light up the fire pit and let it burn until you have a bed of charcoal from the wood. Pierce the eggplants in a few places using a toothpick or fork, then place them straight onto the glowing charcoal. (This can even be done while the charcoal has flames.) Roast the eggplants until the skin has charred completely and is soft inside, around 15 minutes. Place in a mixing bowl and cover with a lid so they continue to steam and release liquid.

Step 3: Cool & Peel Eggplants

Peel eggplants once they have cooled down enough to be handled without burning your hands. Try to retain as much of the brown flesh just beneath the skin as possible – this is where most of the flavor is – but ensure that all the charred skin is removed. Save the juice remaining in the mixing bowl for the broth.

Step 4: Add Tomatoes

Place saucepan on embers, add oil, wait until it starts to smoke, then add tomatoes, swirling around until they start to soften. Pour them over eggplant meat and put aside.

Step 5: Combine Sauce

Using the same saucepan, boil and salt. Remove pan from heat. Add garlic, parsley, lovage, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Add leftover liquid from eggplants. Cover with a lid and let stand for around 20 minutes. Strain the liquid.

Step 6: Prep & Serve

Place a piece of eggplant and fried tomatoes on each plate. Pour broth over, zest lemon on top. Finish with celery leaves and herb/chili oil.