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.
(from Mediterranean The Beautiful Cookbook)
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.