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Eggplant Salad

Salad:
1 medium eggplant or two small eggplantsEggplant Salad by J. Meier
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
1 six ounce  bag or one bunch fresh spinach
1/4 – 1/2 lb. feta, crumbled
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)

Dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together ingredients for dressing and set aside.

Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant

Cut the eggplant in half length-wise then cut each half lengthwise again. Slice the quarters into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 Tbsp of the dressing. Toss well and put eggplant slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft and cooked through. Take the eggplant out of the oven and immediately toss in a bowl with tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts and remaining dressing. Let cool to room temperature, then add Feta cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tips:Salad Dressing

  • Mix the salad dressing in a small canning jar. Put on the lid and shake the jar vigorously instead of whisking the ingredients.
  • I don’t have the time or patience to salt eggplant before cooking, which draws out the moisture and bitterness. Large, overripe eggplants are really the only type that need this treatment anyway, so I always buy eggplants that are smaller in size.
  • Always keep parchment paper in your pantry. It’s inexpensive and a roll lasts a long time. Every grocery store sells it next to the tinfoil and plastic wrap. It keeps food from sticking while it bakes, which means better food and less dirty dishes (two things I love).
  • Adding the hot eggplant to the spinach wilts the spinach a little bit. I like the salad better this way. If you like your spinach crisp and raw, don’t add it until the eggplant cools.

Eggplant Salad © recipe 2009 Jennifer Meier and The Busy Girls’ Cookbook

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