My Grandmother’s Summer Eggplant

My grandmother used to make this dish almost daily during eggplant season. She would prepare it early in the morning when the temperature outside was still pleasant and then serve it cold, as an appetizer for lunch in the shade of our hot and dry summer days.

20130714-215916.jpg Both refreshing and fragrant, it is infused with garlic and profusely sprinkled with parsley to balance the strength of the garlic.

20130714-220005.jpg Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
6 medium tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
A small bunch parsley
3/4 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Cracked sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

20130714-220713.jpg Wash and cut the eggplant in 1cm thick slices lengthwise. Remove stems.

20130714-220805.jpg Brush olive oil on one side. The oil will be quickly absorbed as the eggplant acts as a sponge.

20130714-220856.jpgPlace the olive oil side down on a baking sheet, brush the other side (now on top) with olive oil, generously sprinkle cracked sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes.

20130714-221150.jpgMeanwhile, prepare the tomatoes in the same way we prepared them for the Mussels in orange, tomato an saffron sauce, by peeling them and seeding them. Then, chop them.

20130714-221253.jpg Heat about one Tbsp of olive oil in a a pan and add the chopped tomatoes. Here I am using a cast iron pan as I like the way it evenly spreads the heat when simmering the tomatoes.

20130714-221422.jpg Peel, crush and chop the garlic cloves. chop parsley and set aside.

20130714-221512.jpgAdd the garlic to the tomatoes, a little cracked sea salt and simmer together for about 30-40 minutes.

20130714-221638.jpgWhile the tomatoes are cooking, removed the cooked eggplant from the oven. It should be golden brown.

20130714-221723.jpgImmediately sprinkle vinegar on top of the eggplant while still hot. Set aside and let cool in the baking sheet so the heat emanating from sheet fully infuses the flavors.

20130714-221823.jpg Arrange the eggplant slices in a serving dish where they can be spread out.

20130715-054036.jpgOnce the tomato sauce has finished cooking, it should have a unified consistency.

20130715-054146.jpgSpread the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant.

20130715-054247.jpgSprinkle chopped parsley, refrigerate and enjoy as a cold summer appetizer.