Friday, August 19, 2011
So, maybe you're getting a little tired of baking with eggplant and heating up your kitchen: it is August, after all. Well, do I have the recipe for you! This marinated eggplant is one of my favorite summer meals. Okay, you do have to the stove top for a little bit, but you can make a batch to last a week and it's definitely worth a little sweat. I found this in Recipes from an Italian Summer, a wonderful cookbook for working with summer produce.
- About 1 1/2 lb. eggplant, any variety large enough to slice
- 3/4 c. flavorful olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, and roughly chopped
- 10 mint leaves, chopped
- a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
- If the eggplant is thick-skinned, peel it. Slice the eggplant into 1/4" rounds.
- Sprinkle the slices with salt and let them drain over a colander for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the eggplant slices and pat them dry. Brush them lightly with olive oil: it's important to use a brush and a light hand here, (don't drizzle!), or they will just soak up the oil in some spots.
- Heat a heavy skillet over high heat.
- Add the eggplant slices in a single layer, cooking them in batches. Turn them once to lightly brown them on both sides. They should lose a lot of their moisture and appear a bit shriveled.
- Whisk the remaining oil, (most of it), with the remaining ingredients.
- Create a layer of eggplant and add a few spoonfuls of the dressing, being sure to get some of the chunky bits.
- Repeat, stacking layers, until all of the eggplant and dressing is used.
- Cover and chill for at least 6 hours before use.
This eggplant is delicious served with some mozzarella or as part of a caprese salad. It is sublime, if a tad oily, sandwiched between sourdough with some mozzarella and pressed into a panini. I think it would be a great accompaniment to a tender chimichurri-marinated steak. If, for some reason, you have extra marinade it makes great salad dressing, too.