Step 1: Prepare eggplant
Wash the eggplant, trim off the caps, halve lengthwise, and place them in a greased baking dish. I generally use spray canola oil, and give the cut surfaces of the eggplant another spray to keep them moist in baking.
Step 2: Season
Sprinkle the chopped garlic over the eggplant to your preferred density, then drizzle the eggplant with a bit of olive oil.
Grind fresh pepper over the top, and sprinkle with cajun spice and/or a bit of salt.
scallions, parsley, etc can be chopped in with the garlic
chili powder, cumin, oregano, roasemary, or the spice/herb of your choice to sprinkle on top
Step 3: Roast
At this point you can remove the eggplant and eat them directly, but I prefer to shut off the oven and let them slowly cool while I go for a bike ride. This extra hour sitting at low temperature dries the eggplant out a bit more, concentrating and mellowing the flavors.
Step 4: Serve
They make great appetizers when cut into segments and served at room temperature, and of course make a lovely vegetarian side dish for those upcoming family gatherings.