Adapted from www.smittenkitchen.com
Makes about 8 toasts; double the recipe if you’d like to eat the salad straight or use it in one of the ways suggested below.
1 medium eggplant, about 3/4 pound, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 T. olive oil plus additional for oiling baking sheet
1/4 t. salt
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. crumbled feta (can omit if you cannot have cheese)
1/8 onion, finely diced (more if desired)
8 half-inch slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil
1 small clove garlic, peeled and halved
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or roasting pan. Toss eggplant, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and a generous amount of black pepper together in a medium bowl until evenly coated. Spread on prepared baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, moving pieces around occasional so they evenly brown. For a cold salad, let the eggplant cool a bit before mixing it with red wine vinegar, feta and onion. For a warm salad where the feta glues itself to the eggplant a bit, toss the vinegar, feta and onion together when the eggplant just comes out of the oven. You’ll want to eat the warm salad quickly. Broil or toast baguette slices then rub them with a garlic clove before heaping on eggplant salad.
With some extra whisked up red wine vinegar and olive oil, it could make a great farro salad. Great with a sliced hard-boiled egg or a couple slices of proscuitto. Throw in some whole wheat orzo (and maybe some capers or slivers of olives), and you’ve got an earnest pasta salad too.