July 28, 2015
Apparently we’ve reached the hot and sticky part of summer. It’s a great time to go to the park or the beach, or out on your terrace. And you’re going to need something light and delicious to eat while you’re there. Here’s a delicious eggplant appetizer that is easy to make, and is great either hot or cold. It uses fresh basil as well.
8 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 large eggplant (about 1 lb.), cut into ¾” pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
8 slices ¾”-thick country-style bread
½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 oz. Parmesan, shaved
1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, marjoram, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant to the skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until just starting to brown, 8–10 minutes.
3. Add ½ cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the eggplant is very soft, 10–15 minutes. Let it cool slightly, then mix in the lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the grill on medium. Brush both sides of the bread with the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and grill until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side.
5. Spoon the eggplant mixture on the toast and top with the basil and Parmesan; then cut the toast in half.
HELPFUL HINT: You can use a toaster oven instead of a grill to toast the bread. You can even do it under the broiler in your oven.
ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT: You can prepare and cook the eggplant mixture two days ahead, cover and chill it until ready to use.
I hope you enjoy this dish – it’s a favorite at my place. Have a delicious week!