Monday, July 11, 2011

Melanzane Alla Tarantina: Eggplant, Taranto Style


Eggplants are alive and well now that it is summer. Since they are one of my favorite vegetables that is secretly a fruit eggplants are back in full force in my kitchen. This recipe comes from Puglia - it combines capers, mint and kalamata olives on eggplants. After scoring the fruits and baking them with a rich topping - I am sold on this method. Next time I'll add minced garlic or shallots.

Taranto Eggplants
(from Mediterranean The Beautiful Cookbook)
Serves 6

12 Japanese eggplants (or 3 globe eggplants)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil for drizzling

  • Cut the eggplants in half  lengthwise and salt the cut sides. Place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Rinse the eggplants and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife score the top of the eggplant, making cuts about 1/4 inch deep and forming a pattern of tiny squares being careful not to cut all the way through.

  • In a bowl or food processor stir together the olives, capers, basil, mint, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.


  • Rub this paste into the scored eggplant. Place them in a baking dish, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil.


  • Bake until the eggplants are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes for the global eggplants and 15 minutes for the small ones.
  • Transfer to a platter and serve hot or warm, preferable with feta and crusty bread.

11 comments:

Three-Cookies said...

I love eggplants, never had then this way. Sounds simple enough for me to try!

mia xara said...

I'm glad that something so tasty looking is so easy to make!Thanks for posting!

Lenia said...

I adore eggplants!Your dish is a must try,dear annoula!Filakia!

Helen said...

Oh yes! I do enjoy my eggplant in the summer months! I usually have it grilled with a marinara sauce and LOTS of garlic but your version sounds delish too!

Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said...

For someone who loves all those ingredients in this recipe how can I NOT make this??? Yum! Absolutely love this Anna!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I love your eggplant recipe...it would be a great addition to a grilled meat and vegetable dinner outdoors.

tasteofbeirut said...

My mouth is watering: I love olives, adore them and eggplants are one of my favorite veggies; never tried this combo. Have got to!

Anna A. said...

Three-Cookies - more like Three-Eggplants :-)

Mia xara - Thanks for stopping by.

lenia - I hope so!

Helen - I am 200% on-board with your vegan eggplant parmasean -ish version. Bring on all 20 cloves of garlic!

Peter - High five to that!

Karen - Thanks! I think this could work on grilled eggplants.

tasteofbeirut - I think its the summer of olives and eggplants

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Mary said...

Wow! These really pack a flavor punch. I'll wager they are wonderful with lamb or other grilled meats. I really have to try this recipe. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anna A. said...

Aarthi - Thanks for stopping by - I will surely check out your blog!

Mary - I bet these would be amazing with grilled meats!