Hands down this is my favorite way to make eggplant. It came from a very dear friend,that I don’t keep in touch with as often as I should. We chatted via text last week, and it reminded me that I finally need to share and blog this recipe. The olives are my addition.. You can eat this on crackers, scoop it up with pita, or serve it under or over a beautifully grilled chicken breast and top it with some fresh feta.. Addicting…simple but elegant enough to be an appetizer for your fanciest guests.. or for a lazy football Sunday with friends… It is highly recommended that you at least double this recipe. I love you Izzy.. I hope you are more honored at my blogging your recipe than you were when I named the bearded dragon after you <3
1 large eggplant
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. good red tomato sauce, or seasoned diced tomatoes, or one whole tomato diced
10-15 chopped black olives
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. black pepper
2t. Kosher salt
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T. good olive oil
Peel eggplant. Slice in 1/2 inch circles and then cut into cubes. Put about half of the eggplant in a sieve and sprinkle with one teaspoon of Kosher salt.Toss a bit to distribute. Top with remaining eggplant and sprinkle with another teaspoon of salt. Allow to drain for a minimum of one hour and preferably more.
That is all the bitterness coming out of the eggplant.
I do not rinse the salt off the eggplant, which is why there is not additional salt in the recipe. Heat a large saucepan and add the oil and crushed garlic. Saute the garlic on low heat til fragrant. Do not try to rush this as the garlic will burn. There is no saving oil that garlic has burned in.
Pre heat oven to 350*
Taking handfuls squeeze as much liquid from the eggplant as you can. Add to the flavored oil. Stir in Italian seasoning and pepper. Saute the eggplant for about 5 minutes, and then put the pan in a pre heated oven for 20 minutes. Remember the handle is HOT! Use a pot holder to remove it!
Add the olives and tomatoes or tomato sauce to the roasted eggplant cubes. Stir. Refrigerate.
Serve with crackers, as an appetizer, or light lunch on top of Red leaf or Romaine lettuce.
Additionally, you can reheat and serve on top of a grilled chicken breast. Crumble a bit of feta on top.
I hope you enjoy this versatile recipe from my long time friend.