Eggplant for me used to mean eggplant spread: either the Romanian eggplant salad I grew up with, my favorite eggplant and red pepper salad, or sometimes eggplant with tehina (or tahini, if you prefer). But since I stopped eating bread, I had to come up with something new to do with eggplant – eggplant spread is less fun when you have nothing to spread it on!
I didn’t want to fry it, so I tried broiling it instead, then dressed it up with a sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, and basil cooked in olive oil – a classic combo of flavors that is a wonderful complement to the eggplant. I’m so pleased with the result. It’s become one of my favorite dishes. I hope you like it too.
Broiled Eggplant with Tomato Basil Sauce
1 large or 2 small eggplants
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
8 ripe tomatoes
15 basil leaves
Salt to taste
1. Cut the eggplant into slices – about a centimeter thick (a little less that ½ an inch). Sometimes I cut each slice into 2 or 3 strips, especially if the eggplant is large.
2. Brush lightly with olive oil.
3. Salt lightly, then place on a baking tray. Put the tray one of the higher levels in the oven to broil (don’t bake) for about 14 – 18 minutes, watching carefully to see that the slices don’t burn. Turn when they’re done on the first side.
After they’re broiled on both sides they are already delicious. You can eat them as is or perhaps with a dressing such as vinaigrette or tehina. Alternatively, you can add them to a fresh salad.
Preparing the sauce
1. Sauté sliced garlic in olive oil for about 45 seconds.
2. Add quartered tomatoes and whole basil leaves. Cook for about 25 minutes on low heat in a covered pot, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are completely soft.
3. Blend and add salt to taste.
4. Pop the eggplant into the sauce and heat through.
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