This little gem was inspired by the inimitable Deb Perelman's eggplant bruschetta. Not sure it qualifies as a new recipe, but it was extremely well-received, so here goes!
Here is a chart of the smoking points of common fats, to guide you in selecting your roasting temperatures.
We did not have any pomegranate on hand, but it would make a delicious addition, especially with orange or yellow peppers instead of the red ones you see above. Happy eats!
Roasted eggplant salad
1 very large, or 2 medium, eggplants
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 medium red onion, finely diced or sliced whisper thin
Juice of 2 lemons
1 red, orange or yellow pepper
3/4 pound feta
1 generous handful fresh mint
More olive oil, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Slice the eggplant, lengthwise, into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle with salt (coarse, if possible) and lay between sheets of paper towel on a cutting board, topped with a heavy object, to sweat. After about 15 mins, remove paper towel, tap off salt and cube eggplant finely.
- Coat the cubes of eggplant in olive oil and spread out on baking sheet in a single layer. Roast, shaking occasionally, for 40 to 45 mins, or until browned. Try not to move eggplant too frequently or it will break down. You are going for a crisp exterior with a creamy interior.
- While the eggplant is roasting, dice or slice the onion into a large mixing bowl. Cover with lemon juice, so they will pickle slightly. Cook your quinoa, dice your bell pepper and have a glass of rosé.
- Remove eggplant from the oven and cool completely before using. Same with the quinoa, which must be at room temperature. See above re: rosé.
- Once cooled, mix quinoa and bell pepper into the onions. Add eggplant and toss gently. Crumble the feta into the salad. Add a few glugs of good olive oil and fold gently. Adjust the acidity by adding more lemon juice.
- Set aside to rest, if you can, to allow the eggplant to absorb the dressing. Do not chill, salad will be fine at room temperature for several hours. Add mint and pomegranate (if using) right before serving. Enjoy!