This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite Calabrian dishes – a salad of eggplant, garlic, cracked chili pepper and lots of mint.
So when I opened my fridge door to the sight of parsley roots with luscious greens, a shiny eggplant and half of a succulent heirloom tomato, I decided to create my own version with a spin. The eggplant in this recipe gets cooked in water rather than a lot of oil – although you dress the salad generously with olive oil at the end, I feel it is overall lighter fare than if you cook the eggplant with olive oil. Eggplant is delicious, but when it comes to oil, it is a sponge.
This salad is best after a couple of hours of marinating and is delicious in a grain bowl, on a sandwich or served on crostini with a layer of ricotta for a very tasty appetizer!
Side note – if you have not yet read my piece on why today’s tomatoes have so much less flavor than heirlooms, check out this blog post!
1 medium eggplant
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 heirloom tomato slicer, in chunky cubes (ca 8 oz)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped (leaf & stems, but keep chopped stems separated)
2 Tbsp EV Olive Oil
Salt to taste
(1) Cut eggplant lengthwise into slices and the slices into strands to a size of your liking. Heat pan. Once hot add eggplant, parsley stems and cover with water. Add 1 tsp of salt. Cover w. lid and let cook over low heat till eggplant is soft.
(2) Transfer eggplant into bowl and let cool.
(3) Once eggplant is at room temperature, add all the other ingredients except for the tomatoes, mix well and let marinate for a couple of hours. Add tomatoes shortly before serving and salt to taste.
If you leave out the tomatoes, you can keep this salad in the fridge for at least a week without a problem – just make sure it is well coated in olive oil!