Mediterranean Sweet and Sour Eggplant Salad

(Makes about 5 cups serving 6 – 8)

This is a great picnic or alfresco salad that is also delicious served on crostini and as a topping for almost any grilled or crisply fried fish or meat. Chef John Ash also loves to toss this with cooked pasta either hot or cold. Here he’s oven roasting the eggplant here but you could also grill it either on a grill or with a ridged grill pan on top of the stove, both of which would add a nice smoky flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants (2 pounds), ends removed and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup Beyond the Olive Arbosana Blend extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large white onion (3/4 pound) cut in large dice
  • 2 Tbsp slivered garlic
  • 2 cups diced fresh dead ripe tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped mint
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped parsley

Garnish: Baby spicy greens such as arugula and toasted pine nuts.

Directions:

Brush eggplant slices liberally on both sides with 4 Tbsps or so of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet or sheets. Roast in a preheated 425-degree oven for 18 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned and just cooked through. Chop into 3/4 inch or so chunks and set aside.

Add remaining olive oil to a large sauté pan and cook the onions and garlic over moderate heat until softened and just beginning to color, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, vinegar and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the eggplant, mint and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cool, cover and allow to sit for an hour or so for the flavors to marry. Can be made ahead and stored covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature with a garnish of spicy young greens and a scattering of pine nuts.

Provided by Chef John Ash © 2010
Photo Source: Yummly.com