Friday, August 17, 2007

Eggplant Salad

I spied this Eggplant Salad recipe this week in the New York Times food section. The photo accompanying the article was gorgeous. I drooled. I knew I had to try it ... and soon.

The recipe was really easy to make. It made way too much for just lil' ol' me, so I shared it with my sis and her hubby, too.

Unfortunately, I forgot the mint. :( It got purchased at the market along with the rest of the ingredients, but the basil-mint pesto recipe I made earlier this week also called for mint. I used all I had in that recipe, completely forgetting that I needed a bit for this one. The herb you see in the photo is basil, which basically just acted as a garnish for the photo. I'm sure this recipe tastes really good with the mint in it.

Eggplant Salad With Peppers, Mint and Caper-Feta Vinaigrette

Time: 45 minutes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 3/4 pounds eggplant (any kind, or a mixture), trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks

3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

1 pound mixed bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

2. Toss eggplant with 1/3 cup vinaigrette, reserving the rest. Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden around edges, about 30 minutes. Let eggplant cool somewhat. (It can be warm but not hot enough to melt feta or wilt mint.)

3. Whisk feta, garlic and capers into reserved vinaigrette. In a large bowl, combine eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and mint leaves. Toss with vinaigrette, and serve immediately or within several hours. (It holds up all day.)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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