Greek-Style Eggplant with Roasted Garlic Flavor
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- 4 large eggplants, roughly four pounds worth, - cut into 1 inch cubes
- Sea Salt
- ¼ cup Garlic Gold® Oil
- 1 large onion, chopped in large 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound fresh, ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled, and cut into a 2 inch dice (or 1-16 ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained well)
- ½ cup any or any combination of the following fresh herbs: mint, cut into julienne strips; oregano, torn; rosemary, chopped fine; basil, cut into julienne strips; parsley, finely minced
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper and additional Garlic Gold® Nuggets to taste
- Place the eggplant and tomatoes in a large colander and set in sink or inside a large bowl. Sprinkle eggplant and tomatoes liberally with sea salt and mix well to distribute the salt evenly. Fill a bowl that is slightly smaller than the colander with water. Place bowl on top of salted eggplant and tomatoes to weigh it down and draw out excess moisture. Let eggplant and tomatoes sit at least 1 hour, up to 8 hours. Rinse the salted eggplant well to remove excess salt and spread the salted eggplant and tomatoes over a layer of paper towels. One at a time, take a paper towel and place about 1 cup of the salted eggplant and tomatoes inside; squeeze very well, using another paper towel if necessary, until all the water is out of the eggplant and tomatoes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven racks so they are spaced far apart. Place aluminum foil or large non-stick sheet on 2 rimmed cookie sheets. Toss eggplant and tomatoes with 2 Tablespoons of the Garlic Gold® Oil and divide evenly between baking sheets, spreading to form a single layer on each sheet. Roast until browned and tender, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating baking sheets and stirring once gently halfway through baking time. Set roasted eggplant and tomatoes aside to cool. Heat on medium the remaining 2 Tablespoons Garlic Gold® Oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet, such as cast iron for 2 minutes; add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the roasted eggplant tomato mixture to the sautéed onion mixture. Gently stir in fresh herbs and feta. Season with freshly ground pepper, additional sea salt, and Garlic Gold® Nuggets to taste.
- Serve immediately.
- Hire a prep cook or get your kids to pitch in; once you are done with all the chopping, the rest is easy-breezy.
- Easy vegan (and cholesterol-friendly) option; just leave out the feta cheese and garnish with toasted slivered almonds.
- No fresh herbs? Add a pinch of dried oregano.
- No-prep option? Substitute four pounds (about 4 bags usually) frozen cut green beans, thawed, for the eggplant; proceed with recipe but decrease cooking time slightly.
- This recipe is great if you have an overflowing garden full of eggplant; make at least a double batch and freeze the leftovers in Tupperware-style containers.
- To make this look pretty enough for company, garnish with julienned fresh herbs such as basil or mint and/or a small amount of additional crumbled feta cheese.