Eggplant and feta salad on olive oil croutons
This is a very interesting way to prepare eggplant. After making an incision to each end, John cooks a whole eggplant in the oven at 400˚F for 60 minutes; lets cool for 20 minutes then remove the flesh, as you would do with spaghetti squash. Then you can season it with your choice of ingredients and serve as salad, make an Eggplant tapenade for your bruschetta, or use it as a base for a pasta sauce. John chose to serve it as a salad prepared with dried dates slices, a splash of maple syrup for the sweet flavour, crushed pistachios for a crunchy texture, fresh Mint and cilantro for the freshness and finally feta cheese pieces, as a salty touch. Served on extra virgin olive oil croutons, simple and easy to execute, this salad is delicious and will leave you time to enjoy your valentine.
|Prep time: 15 minutes|
|Cooking time: 60 minutes|
|Servings or yield: Appetizer for 4 people|
|Difficulty level: Easy|
|1 medium eggplant|
|50 g feta cheese|
|2 dried dates, pitted and thinly sliced|
|Fresh baguette bread|
|1 clove garlic|
|1 tbsp. pistachios, crushed|
|1 tbsp. maple syrup|
|1 tbsp. cilantro leaves, minced|
|1 tbsp. mint, minced|
|Juice of ½ lemon|
|2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling|
|Balsamumm Original, to serve|
|Salt and pepper to serve|
Preheat oven at 400˚F. Place eggplant on an oven dish, using a small knife; make an incision to each end and roast 30 minutes on each side.
Remove from oven and let cool no more than 20 minutes (if the Eggplant is too cold, you will have difficulty to remove the flesh). Cut in 2 and emove the flesh and place in a colander. Let drain 20 minutes.
Slice baguette bread; place the slices on an oven plate, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400˚F on each side until golden brown. Remove from oven add salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
Place eggplant flesh in a bowl with garlic, dates, maple syrup, olive oil, cilantro and mint, add salt and pepper to taste, mix well.
On a service dish, place croutons and add eggplant salad on top and sprinkle with feta cheese.
Drizzle with Balsamumm original and serve right away.