Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olive Oil Roasted Eggplant with Lemon and Garlic

   I've never really liked eggplant, but we've been getting it in our weekly farm share for a few weeks now so I figured I needed to find something to do with it. The obvious dish most people tell me to put it in is eggplant parmesan, but I wanted to do something different with it that didn't involve hiding its flavor with tomatoes/tomato sauce. After doing some research, which involved chatting with a guy at the farm and googling recipes, I combined all of the information I found and was able to create a little slice of eggplant heaven.

   WARNING: This is not my recipe. I do not know the how's and why's of this recipe, I merely did as I was told. So if you read the recipe and develop questions, such as, "Why do we have to let the eggplant sweat?" or "Why do we cut the eggplant skin into stripes?" I'm sorry, I can't help you. Consult with someone who knows what they are doing in the kitchen (and has experience cooking with eggplant).  

Olive Oil Roasted Eggplant with Lemon and Garlic

  • 1 large eggplant
I was told that the eggplant on the left is an Italian Eggplant and the one on the right is an Asian Eggplant. I used both for this recipe and although they both tasted delicious, I think I prefer the Asian Eggplant.
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Basil
  • Minced garlic

1. Peel Eggplant in stripes with peeler. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters lengthwise. Sprinkle Eggplant with salt and let “sweat” for ½ hour. Drain, rinse with water, pat dry with paper towels.

Eggplant sweat.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.

3. Peel garlic and mince in food processor.

Peeled garlic.
4. Cut eggplant into small flat strips. Place the eggplant onto the baking sheet with the skin side down. Brush each piece with olive oil and season with minced garlic, basil, and pepper.

Minced garlic and olive oil mix.
5. Roast in the preheated oven until softened and the garlic is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.

6. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve hot.

  What makes this dish so delicious for me is the contrast in the crunchy garlic and the soft eggplant. I also really love the citrus element of the lemon squeezed on top. Without it, I think the garlic would be too strong. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

   To see the original recipe that inspired part of this recipe, visit http://allrecipes.com/recipe/olive-oil-roasted-eggplant-with-lemon/ 

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