I first made this roasted eggplant dish about a month ago, when the farmers market was crammed with summer produce. Now the trees have started to lose their leaves and the market has shifted to sturdier fare. I love fall, but I’m longing for the taste of summer. Luckily, I got a glimpse of it at the weekend market- in the form of eggplant and tomatoes- amongst the apples, pumpkins and winter squashes.
My favorite way to prepare eggplant is roasting. It’s a simple way to cook eggplant that requires much less oil than frying. (If you’ve ever fried eggplant you know that it acts like an oil sponge!) Baking the eggplant makes it tender and brown.
Here’s a recipe for roasted eggplant tossed with a simple dressing of citrus juice, tamari and sesame oil. A scattering of fresh tomatoes and basil finish the dish. Great on it’s own or served over quinoa or brown rice.
Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes
1 medium fresh eggplant (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh tangerine or orange juice
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
8 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange eggplant in single layer on shallow baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 40 to 50 minutes until eggplant is tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Place roasted eggplant and tomatoes in serving bowl.
For dressing, whisk together juice, tamari, sesame oil and maple syrup. Drizzle dressing over eggplant and tomatoes; scatter with basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings (about 2 1/2 cups)