It seems like people I talk to either love eggplant or hate it. I think people’s distaste of eggplant comes from its bitter flavor. I find the Japanese and Chinese variety tend to be less bitter than purple eggplant. I also love the graffiti eggplant because they are so pretty and it makes me feel like a rebel when graffiti shows up on my grocery receipt. To avoid bitter traditional purple eggplant I always try to buy the smaller ones, not a guarantee, but it seems to work for me. Also I slice them, salt them, and drain them on paper towels.
I definitely fall into the love category so I cannot say my opinion of this salad is unbiased, but I think it is delicious and very easy to make. If your nervous this is good recipe to try. At least if you are still not fond of it, you didn’t slave away for hours in your kitchen.
Eggplant and White Balsamic Salad
serves 4 as a side
2 Japanese eggplants, sliced 1/4″ thick
extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. white Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Slice your eggplant crosswise. You want it fairly thin, but not so thin it falls apart. Maybe 1/4″ thick slices.
Drizzle both sides of your eggplant with olive oil. You want to make sure the eggplant does not stick to the pan (I brushed some olive oil on the baking sheet as well, just to be on the safe side). Also give the eggplant and little sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.
Once the oven is hot bake the eggplant for 10-12 minutes. I rotated the pan and flipped the eggplant half way through so it would cook and brown more evenly. Once it is brown remove from the oven and transfer to plate or cutting board to cool.
Once cool toss with the white balsamic and mint. I let the eggplant sit like this for about 10 minutes before I toss it with the greens. I didn’t specify how many greens you should add because it kinda depends on what you are trying to achieve. I add less greens if I want it as a side and more greens, maybe even some tomatoes, if I want it as a salad. Toss and Enjoy!