Monday, July 30, 2012

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

I adapted this recipe from the lovely folks over at Laa Loosh which is both healthy and full of flavor. It's a good side dish for a mediterranean inspired dinner, and also in bigger portions, can be a nice lunch salad all by itself. I admit, it's not the quickest meal, but was interesting enough to include.

Total Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Cook Time: 50 minutes

What you will need:

2 medium to large sized eggplants
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
5 minced garlic cloves
Juice from one lemon
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
Sea salt
Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the eggplants, then slice them into 1 inch thick round disks, and quarter the disks. For larger disks, you can cut them into eighths.

Put the eggplant pieces into a large bowl and sprinkle thoroughly with sea salt. Let these sit while you mix the marinade I describe below. The reason you want it to sit? Since we're roasting the eggplant, we need as much water out of it as possible. Salt on the eggplant draws moisture from the vegetable.

In a small dish, mix together the oil, vinegars (both cider and balsamic), dry spices, and garlic. You can accomplish this with a fork or a whisk. DO NOT INCLUDE the soy sauce or the lemon juice; these will be added separately later.

Turn your attention back to the eggplant. Approximately 15 minutes should elapse between the time that you put the salt on the eggplant and when you take this next step. Some small beads of water should have accumulated on the eggplant from the salt. Wipe them away if possible with a paper towel.

Pour the marinade over the eggplant and mix well, making sure the marinade gets to all pieces of eggplant. Pour the eggplant on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and try and get all of the eggplant to form one single layer.

Bake at 400 for approximately 40 minutes, stirring and flipping every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the eggplant carefully because you do not want it to burn. Remove from the oven when the eggplant easily yields to a poke from a fork. 

Let the eggplant cool while you mix the soy sauce and the lemon juice together in a small dish. Transfer the eggplant to a serving bowl, then pour the soy/lemon mixture and the goat cheese into the bowl with the eggplant. Stir lightly so the eggplant and goat cheese begin to melt together, serve, and enjoy! It tastes even better the next day when completely cold :)

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