It is time again to promote la mia cara melanzana – the eggplant. I do so love this gift from Mother Nature. Last August, I wrote about the Incredible, Edible, Egg…plant. I shared with you how I typically prepare my eggplant which always, always, ALWAYS, accompanies my grazing table and charcuterie boards. It is so easy and so delicious. Honestly, I rarely ever prepare it any other way. Until now.
Let’s revisit this nightshade. It’s summer. The heat is ON. Heavy foods are so hard to not only eat, but to make as well. Summer is about keeping it light, simple, and easy. Our majestic friend here does just that. While I strongly encourage you make my first version of eggplant, try this one as well. Both are stupidly easy, but provide consistent, deliciously satisfying, first, or even main, courses.
Carolyn’s Eggplant 2.0
Your ingredient is list is short and sweet: one globe eggplant, salt, olive oil, thyme
What you will need: sharp knife, parchment paper lined baking sheet
What to do: Preheat your oven to 425° F. While the oven is preheating, slice the eggplant in half. Score the inside of each eggplant, careful not to pierce the skin. Generously salt the inside of each half making sure to get inside the cuts as well. Allow the eggplant to rest for 15 minutes. This is an important step in allowing the eggplant to release its bitterness. You will immediately see the moisture form on the cut side of the eggplant. After the allotted time, squeeze each half of the eggplant into the sink to allow moisture to release. Next, take a paper towel and dab off the excess moisture.
Generously douse each half of the eggplant with olive and lightly salt it. Put 2-3 sprigs of thyme on the cut side of the eggplant and place each half cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes. It should slightly collapse. Allow it to cool to room temperature before turning over to reveal this beauty.
To eat: I most prefer this at room temperature. Always. Feel free to eat it by itself, or with whipped ricotta and roasted tomatoes. You really can’t go wrong.