About This Recipe
This vegetable dish is delicious on its own but also juicy enough to serve as a sauce on top of pasta or grains. With olive oil, parsley, lemon, and garlic, it makes its own gremolata. It’s also a very flexible recipe. It could accommodate an extra eggplant. For the dried herbs, try any combination of rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Use any variety of heirloom tomato. Part or all of it could be made in advance for meal prep. Hand-torn olives? Throw those in along with the capers. Instead of ricotta salata, you could use feta, goat cheese, or Parmigiano-Reggiano. Or no cheese at all, in which case this would be vegan.
This satisfying, satiating dish contains high-fiber eggplants (with the added benefits of B vitamins, vitamin K and folate), and antioxidant-packed garlic, tomatoes and herbs that help build immunity.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 lb (225 g) slender or baby eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb (450 g) tomatoes (preferably fresh San Marzano), destemmed and cut into chunks
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp capers (preferably salt-packed), rinsed and drained
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Ricotta salata for serving (optional)
Step 1In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is hot and shimmering. Add the eggplant, and cook on each side until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Step 2Add the tomatoes, rosemary sprig, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down a little, sort of collapsing in the middle and melting a little at the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the capers, lemon zest, and juice. Add salt to taste and several grinds of black pepper. Remove from the heat.
Step 3Stir in the chopped parsley. Remove the rosemary sprig. Serve immediately as is, or top with ricotta salata as desired, if using. To store (do so without the cheese), keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Substitutions: Use other dried herbs such as thyme or bay leaf; a pinch of dried mint works too. Swap out ricotta salata and try shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano or crumbled feta.
Try It With: Serve with rice or other grains, or over pasta
About the author
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