Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Enticing eggplant recipes

Give this violet veggie top billing in hearty harvest meals


Mediterranean melanzane linguini
Combining eggplant with a variety of Mediterranean ingredients results in this delicious, flavour-packed pasta. Serve with a simple green salad and crusty bread.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 6 tbsp. (90 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz. can (798 mL) diced tomatoes with juice
  • Pinch each salt, pepper and granulated sugar
  • 1 roasted yellow pepper, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) black olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) capers
  • 3 tbsp. (45 mL) fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄2 lb. (225 g) linguini
  • Garnish with freshly grated asiago cheese


Preparation
Cut eggplant lengthwise into slices 1⁄4 inch (5 mm) thick. Further cut each piece into 21⁄2-inch (6-cm) lengths about 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) wide. (Yield should measure 8 cups/2 L).

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss eggplant in a bowl with 6 tbsp. (90 mL) of oil until evenly coated. Place on a large, rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Roast eggplant for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until softened and golden on all sides. Remove from pan and drain on a large, paper-towel-lined plate.

Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, cook pasta, reserving 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of the cooking water.

Stir eggplant, yellow pepper, olives, capers and basil into sauce and heat for 5 minutes. Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper. Toss pasta with sauce until just coated, adding a little of the reserved cooking water if necessary. Top with cheese.

 

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