Back in late May I planted several Italian eggplants (both Dark beauty and Rosa bianca) at the South Treatment Plant GroCo demonstration garden. I crossed my fingers and hoped for a warm summer like last year. Apparently crossing ones fingers is useless, because we got terrible weather this summer. The cold and rain squelched any expectations I had for good tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant.
Lo and behold, I got great harvests of all three crops. I think this success was due to a combination of full sun exposure, excellent soil, and good heat retention at the site (lot's of concrete surrounding the garden perimeter).
Last Thursday we had a luncheon to show off the demonstration garden, educate folks about biosolids compost, and to enjoy the late summer bounty. The eggplant dish I made got rave reviews, and I promised that I would share the "recipe" here. The nice thing about this dish is that it somehow eliminates the bitter and slime that sometimes plagues eggplant.
Roasted Eggplant a la Kate
- Eggplant diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- fresh herbs
The truth is, I don't actually have a recipe. I make this up every time, but it always comes out delicious. Here is the gist of what I do:
Preheat oven to 375. Spread out cubed eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with olive oil, mix with hands to coat.
Roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until soft and tender.
While eggplant is roasting, whip up a vinaigrette dressing. I usually use about 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup vinegar, 3 cloves minced garlic, a teaspoon of sea salt, and a tablespoon of minced fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary.
After the eggplant is finished roasting, transfer it to a nice bowl and toss with dressing.
If I have basil growing in the garden or windowsill, I like to add a good amount at the very end.
Allow the eggplant to marinate in this dressing overnight before digging in.
My favorite way to eat this dish is on an antipasto platter, on pizza, and in mediterranean-themed green salads (think arugula, garbanzo beans, parmesan cheese, shaved fennel, diced red onion, carrot, etc...).
|baby Rosa bianca eggplant developing at the GroCo demo garden|