Prepare oven-baked eggplant by slicing it and putting into a pre-heated oven of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the size and cut of the eggplant, roasting time can extend up to an hour, until the eggplant is soft and a deep caramel color.
Cut the eggplant in half and score it with a knife at a high angle. Make cuts in a cross-hatch pattern, then the rotate the eggplant and repeat. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt (up to 1 1/2 teaspoons) to extract some of the vegetable's intrinsic bitterness.
After allowing the eggplant to sit for roughly 30 minutes and preheating the oven, brush the eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, then bake for the appropriate time. If desired, add herbs such as thyme to the eggplant as well.
It is important to let the eggplant cool for a considerable time after baking is complete, at least 20 minutes, as it can otherwise be difficult to handle properly. When serving as a side dish, consider drizzling the eggplant with lemon juice or vinaigrette for added flavor. If using in a different recipe, remove the flesh from the skin by simply running a large spoon between the two.