2 medium eggplants, cut into roughly 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced*
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
16 oz jar roasted red pepper, drained and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon nonpareil capers
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Place the eggplant in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool completely. Place in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients (no additional salt!) and stir to evenly distribute. Serve as-is or refrigerate 1 hour prior to serving to better meld the flavors.
*I used my Joseph Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher which makes tiny circular bits of garlic; perfect for this salad!
It must be the very beginning of eggplant season because the eggplants around here have been lovely! I picked these two up and didn’t have anything in mind for them then promptly left them in the fridge for a week. Oops! This is why I need to stop with the impulse produce purchases! Luckily they were still good when I re-discovered them but I thought I’d better make something with them quickly. Since it is once again super hot, I thought a salad was in order. I roasted the eggplant (relatively quickly and without making the kitchen too hot) transforming the eggplant into something velvety smooth and tossed it with a few other Italian-inspired ingredients. I used jarred red peppers because I actually like the texture and flavor of them better than homemade roasted bell peppers (I don’t like bell peppers!) but if you have some home-roasted peppers, feel free to peel and use them. I loved it. It sort of reminded me of the marinated eggplant slices I like to get on Italian sandwiches but heartier and less oily. Perfect for serving with sandwiches, crab cakes (or crawfish cakes—recipe to come!) or even steak.
It was just as delicious the next day so it could be made it ahead of time to bring to a picnic.