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Roasted Eggplant with Feta and Mint

This is from The Art of Simple Food II by my hero, Alice Waters. We purchased this beautiful and well written collection of wonderful ideas, explanations, and basic transferrable techniques that will leave you equipped to improvise with the seasons at An Unlikely Story, the gorgeous new bookstore in Plainville. We already had the original The Art of Simple Food and are delighted with the latest work!

I quote:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Trim the stem end from 

2 medium globe eggplants

Cut them in half lengthwise and cut each half into 4 long wedges. 

Season the wedges with salt.

Pour into a small ramekin or dish: 1 tablespoon olive oil

Brush the wedges on both sides with olive oil and lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until soft and browned on the underside, about 20 minutes. Turn them over with a spatula and cook another 5 minutes or so, until lightly browned on the other side.  Cool on the pan. 

While the eggplant is roasting make the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 mint sprig

when the salt has dissolved, stir in 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

taste and adjust the acid and salt as needed. 

spoon half the vinaigrette over the eggplant wedges as they are cooling. When ready to serve trim away the root ends and any blemished outer leaves from:

3 or 4 medium scallions

Slice thinly, at a slight angle, all the white base and half the green leaves. remove te mint sprig from the rest of the vinaigrette and toss the scallions in it, along with

8 mint leaves, sliced thin

a large pinch of Marash pepper

a small pinch of cayenne

Arrange the eggplant wedges on a plate, spoon over the vinaigrette, and garnish with:

4 oz sheep's milk feta, crumbled

4 mint leaves, sliced thin

if desired, serve with: toasted bread

variations:

*the eggplant wedges can be grilled instead of roasted

*sprinkle the salad with the seeds from half a pomegranate

*use basil, summer savory, or marjoram instead of mint

*in place of the feta, soak and chop a spoonful of salt-cured capers and add them to the vinaigrette with scallions and herbs

This entry is related to the following products. Click on any of them for more information.
Eggplant, Basil, Marjoram, Mint, Savory, Scallions (Green Onion),