Hello my lovely goddesses,
As part of my Mediterranean Monday series, I am sharing two of my favorite recipes, complete with video. The Mediterranean Diet is primarily comprised of fruits and vegetables, with fish, meat and other proteins as secondary in quantity. There’s a lot of misinformation in the West about typical Mediterranean cuisine. Many think it’s olive oil over pasta and sprinkle some garlic powder on the top and call it Italian. So to help demystify typical Mediterranean cuisine as I discovered while living in Cyprus, I will share some of my favorite recipes with you.
The first one is a vegan recipe that is nearly always a success with my American friends. Roasted eggplant (or aubergine, as my British friends say) with garlic, salt, olive oil and cilantro or Italian parsley. It is beyond simple and so tasty. Eggplant that has been baked in the oven enjoys a smoky taste. I typically make this dish once per week or when I have dinner guests in the summer, next to grilled meats or fish as a side dish.
Ingredients for Roasted Eggplant Salad
- One whole, firm eggplant (either Italian eggplant or the classic Black Bell work equally well)
- Half clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1/2 lemon or lime
- Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 Celsius).
Wash the eggplant and pat dry. With a fork, pierce the eggplant over all sides. This ensures that when cooking, the eggplant cooks quickly and evenly on the inside.
Place on a roasting pan and cook for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
While the eggplant is being baked, wash and finely chop the cilantro or parsley. Set aside.
Finely chop or press about 4 cloves of garlic. Set aside.
Enjoy a glass of wine!
Every now and then, turn the eggplant to ensure it’s being cooked evenly. After 30 minutes, the eggplant should be withered-looking on the outside and soft to the touch. (Careful when touching. It’s hot!). Remove from the oven and place on a plate, allowing to cool about 10 minutes.
After it has slightly cooled (about 10 minutes), take a knife and gently remove the “head” of the eggplant (think you might be scalping it). Then gently remove the skin and empty the flesh into a large bowl. This should be done when the eggplant is still warm to the touch, as it makes it easier to remove the skin. Discard the skin.
Once the flesh is in the bowl, add the chopped garlic and cilantro/parsley. Squeeze half a lemon or lime, add the olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. With a knife, roughly cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces and fold the cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice into one another. Mix well.
Cover the dish and allow to marinate in the fridge, allowing the juices of the roasted eggplant to blend with the garlic and olive oil, about 20 minutes.
Feel free to enjoy a second glass of wine, if desired!
Enjoy with some toasted whole wheat pita bread, a slice of feta cheese, and a glass of white wine. Bon Appetit!
And as always, please drop me a note and let me know if you enjoyed the recipe and if there were any other recipes you wanted to learn.
Discover your Inner Aphrodite. . .