Last week some friends got together to cook a menu of recipes adapted from Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, by Faith Heller Willinger. The eggplant lovers among us were swooning over this simple dish, which we made with purple striped Southeast Asian hybrid eggplant from my local supermarket. If you can find the thin Japanese eggplant, use those instead. Serves 8.
4-5 small, elongated purple striped eggplant or Japanese eggplant (no more than 2 inches in diameter)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
3 Tbsp fresh or dried (but not old) oregano
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Slice the eggplants lengthwise. Remove the stem end. Score the cut surface with a sharp knife, making parallel diagonal incisions in one direction, and then the other, to create a diamond pattern.
In a baking pan large enough to hold all of the eggplant in one layer, combine the garlic, oregano, salt, oil and vinegar. Place the eggplant cut side down into the pan, to get well coated with the seasonings, then turn them right side up. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender and just starting to brown on top. Serve hot or at room temperature.