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Roasted, Marinated Eggplant Antipasto {Recipe}

marinated roasted eggplant recipeI am so uninspired by eggplant that I scarcely could believe enchanting, chewy, tangy nosh a friend recently served me was eggplant antipasto.

fresh local raw eggplant

I mean, I should love eggplant. It is purple, picturesque, and easy to grow in the backyard. But the often spongy, slimy texture simply isn't worth the weak flavor to spend time growing or cooking it. Or so I thought until eggplant antipasto.

I recreated my friends' dish at home with some irresistible Wayward Seed eggplant and ate piece after piece. I served some to another friend and between the two of us and Alex we cleared the plate in no time.

salting eggplantsqueezing eggplant

The lengthy preparation hardly seems worth the quick consumption. First, sliced eggplant must sit in a salt coating to leach out liquid. Then, the cook must squeeze out any remaining water and bake them for a half hour in the oven. Finally, the slices soak in brine for a minimum of four hours.

I would rarely recommend a method that requires so much time and fussiness but I assure you that even eggplant doubters will enjoy this preparation. It converted me.

marinated eggplant

Roasted, Marinated Eggplant Serves: 6-8 appetizer servings Time: 20 minutes active, 5 hours draining/marinating As flavors are concentrated in this recipe, high-quality ingredients are key.

1 pound small to medium sized eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds generous sprinklings of salt, approximately 2 tablespoons 1/4 cup quality balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup quality honey 1/2 cup quality olive oil 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1. Place eggplant slices in a large colander sitting inside a bowl to collect drips. 2. Generously salt eggplant on both sides. Leave at room temperature, uncovered, for 30 - 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 3. Squeeze each slice to remove the maximum amount of liquid, brushing off excess salt grains. 4. Place slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the olive oil. 5. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly browned. 6. Whisk together honey, vinegar, oil, and white pepper in a small glass or ceramic container. 7. Add eggplant to the marinade and gently stir to be sure all pieces are covered. Let stand at room temperature for 4-8 hours. 8. Serve with toast points or bread rounds. Leftovers can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to one month but always bring to room temperature before serving.