July 22, 2014 23

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle | @withfoodandlove

This basil roasted eggplant and heirlooms creation is infused with every ounce of summer that I could muster. It is the very definition of July. It is one hundred percent {besides the olive oil + sea salt} locally sourced in combination of my fire escape herb garden, CSA share + a weekly trip to my farmers’ market.

Everyone just goes gaga over the flavors of summer, right? I mean, what’s not to love, it’s the best time of year! Other things I totally love about summer include going on road-trips to the desert, taking weekend trips to see old friends + celebrating birthdays at the beach. Summer – let’s just soak in that sun, feel the magical warm breeze + hold on to every hour of daylight that we possible can. Life doesn’t get better than this.

Yes, I think it it might. I’m talking about heirloom tomatoes folks. The heirlooms are starting to flood my farmers’ market and I’m head over heels in love. Those colors. Those shapes. That soft, juicy, sweet flesh. They are magnificent in every way. Sometimes I eat them like they’re an apple or a peach. Go ahead, sprinkle a high quality sea salt on there and get your snack on.

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle | @withfoodandlove

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle | @withfoodandlove

Heirloom Tomatoes | @withfoodandlove

I think I could spend most of my life capturing, preparing + devouring heirloom tomatoes. But I’m glad that really isn’t a possibility because then I wouldn’t be able to do awesome real-life stuff like attend cooking school – YIKES!! My first day of plant-based chef training at Rouxbe {ROO – bee} starts tomorrow. And I’m giddy like a little kid on the first day of kindergarten.

So much awesomeness is about to unfold, and you my friends will benefit greatly I assure you. I will be bringing all my new techniques and knowledge to the blog. New recipes will be coming your way weekly, highlighting my new found veggie-whisperin’ skillz!!

Okay back to the tomatoes. I think the thing I love most about this dish is its simplicity. Each ingredient {there aren’t that many} is a shining star in its own way. The perfectly roasted eggplant acts as a nice, hearty base. The layered, heirlooms, juicier with each bite. The basil – I think that speaks for itself. This dish would be nothing without the basil. And the balsamic glaze + sea salt are the icing on top that brings it all together.

It’s sorta like the most perfect, plant-based combination of equal parts caprese salad + bruschetta. You can eat it whole as an entree or slice it and serve it up as a perfect party-app. Either way, dig in. Fork, knife or straight up with your hands and let all of its juiciness drip down your arms and chin. Because, it’s summer folks and you deserve to relish in its wonder.

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle | @withfoodandlove

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle | @withfoodandlove

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle {print me!}

Notes: this recipe takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook. It’ll serve 4 hungry adults for dinner or many party-goers as an app. It can be eaten warm out of the oven, or cold.


  • 2 large eggplants
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves + more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 – 4 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry your eggplant. Cut the ends off and slice long ways. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the eggplants cut side down. Place the eggplant in the oven and roast for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the eggplant is roasting combine together the lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, basil and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until totally smooth. Take the eggplant out of the oven and flip over. Brush the basil mixture over top and bake again for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

While the eggplant is in its final roasting stages, you can prepare the balsamic drizzle. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small sauce pot over low-medium heat. Bring to a very gentle boil and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Continue to stir the balsamic mixture for about 10 – 12 minutes until a thicker drizzle is formed.

When the eggplant is ready, remove it from the oven and layer the cut heirlooms on top. Sprinkle with basil and a pinch of sea salt. Finish the eggplant off with a generously with the balsamic drizzle and serve.

This post is in partnership with Philly FoodWorks; all opinions are my own.

23 Responses to "Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle"

  1. Reply


    July 23, 2014 at 4:02 AM

    This is definitely a perfect summer lunch! So easy, healthy and beautiful!

  2. Reply


    July 23, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Oh my, what a wonderful looking dish. Tomatoes, fresh basil and eggplants are some of my favourite things about summer!
    Good luck starting with the Rouxbe course. I’ve heard great things about it.

    • Reply


      July 23, 2014 at 8:52 AM

      Thanks Emma!! Eeeeek – I can’t wait :))

  3. Reply

    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

    July 23, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Oh, I love heirlooms too! So far we’ve only had regular tomatoes at our CSA and I am hoping they still have the heirlooms coming. They are the best! This looks delicious. I love roasting veggies! Pinning!!

  4. Reply

    Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers

    July 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    I love the use of eggplant here! I have a bunch of them and was running out of dishes to make….so glad you shared this!

  5. Reply

    sue/the view from great island

    July 25, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Inspiring post — I’m running out to get eggplant and heirlooms now!

  6. Reply

    Thalia @ butter and brioche

    July 26, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    definitely recreating this dish for my vegetarian household, looks seriously delicious. thanks for the awesome recipe!

  7. Reply


    July 26, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Wow, I think I will make these tonight! They look divine!

  8. Reply


    July 26, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Just discovered your blog thanks to #SOLETSPIGOUT. This looks like the perfect summer snack a light, breezy spin on egg parm. As soon as the tomatoes are ready here, I will be giving it a go!

  9. Reply

    Millie l Add A Little

    July 27, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    This looks amazing Sherrie!! Love everything about it!

  10. Reply


    July 30, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    just made this for dinner tonight! so good! topped it with some feta cheese and made some socca to with it. perfect meal for a cold and rainy summers day when you want a bir more than just a salad.

    • Reply


      August 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      So glad you made it + loved it!! :))

  11. Reply


    July 31, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Thank you so much!! This is very close to something we had last fall at the home of a woman in a village in Italy. It was wonderful and I’ve been trying to remember how she made it. We’ll be having it this weekend!

    • Reply


      August 3, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      This is such a lovely comment, my Italian family + husband + nonna will be proud to hear about this :))

      Enjoy Marcia!!

  12. Reply


    August 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    LOVE! HOLY COW buying ingredients tomorrow morning!

  13. Reply

    Gabriel @ The Dinner Special podcast

    May 4, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    So happy I saw this on my Facebook feed Sherrie! I don’t usually drool for vegetables but my mouth is watering for this. (TMI?) :)

    • Reply


      May 4, 2015 at 1:41 PM

      If your mouth is watering for vegetables, then I’ve done my job well Gabriel :)

  14. Reply

    aida mollenkamp

    July 22, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    I’m so giving this a go for lunch today! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Reply


    August 11, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Looks delish! How thick do you slice the eggplant? Just once so you have 4 halves for 4 adult servings, or is it an inch thick? Thanks!!

    • Reply


      August 11, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      Hi Kaitlyn, you slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. The thickness depends on the girth of the eggplant. If you want to make thinner slices, you can do that too. Hope this helps!

  16. Reply

    Naomi Jansen

    April 18, 2016 at 4:14 AM

    This sounds so very delicious! I want to start making it right away……Thanks for sharing this colourful, beautiful recipe:)

  17. Reply


    May 8, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    I made this tonight, but instead of cooking in the oven I grilled the eggplant. It came out absolutely awesome! My mom has never made eggplant where it wasn’t super bitter, but she loved this and said it was cooked to perfection. A great option for a grillable side on the warm summer days where you don’t want to turn the oven on.

    • Reply


      May 26, 2016 at 11:18 AM

      Oh, awesome Jackie! I love that, I am definitely doing a lot of the same myself this summer, xx.

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