Burnt to a crisp. Not the food. Me. Ha! I’m literally red as a lobster after sitting in the sun all day yesterday watching tennis matches. After all these years, I finally made it to the U.S. Open, and it was the most amazing experience. I may not have seen Steffi Graf or Pete Sampras, my tennis idols growing up, but I got to see Serena and Venus play doubles. That was truly something special. Seeing the players in action made me want to pick up my racket and start playing again.
Lately, you may have seen eggplant on sale at your local grocery store. I decided to take advantage of the sale and cook some eggplant as a side for dinner. When it comes to cooking eggplant, I’ve roasted and sauteed it, but never broiled it until now. The eggplant is roasted with an olive, caper, and herb mixture. Then topped with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Goat cheese makes everything better. Right? It even convinced my anti-eggplant husband to give it a try, and to my surprise, he liked it.
This is regular eggplant, but you could also use Japanese eggplant which are thinner and more cucumber-shaped.
A bowl full of flavors. Use a fork to mash together the olives, capers, and herbs.
The best part is when the goat cheese slowly melts into the eggplant. Yum!
Broiled Eggplant with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts
adapted from Molto Batali
serves 4 to 6
Broiling time will vary depending on a gas or electric oven. It took about 20 minutes to cook the eggplant with a gas broiler. Keep an eye on the eggplant as it broils. You may need to drizzle more olive oil halfway through to keep the eggplant moist since they are like sponges and absorb liquids quickly.
1 (1 lb) eggplant, end trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices and halved
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted (see note below)
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet if necessary.
Arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, add the olives, capers, basil, marjoram, and oregano. Mix together with a fork, and mash lightly to make a coarse paste. Spread the mixture over the eggplant. Drizzle olive oil over the eggplant. Place the eggplant under the broiler, and broil for 10 to 20 minutes until tops are golden and edges are crisp.
Transfer the eggplant to a serving plate. Sprinkle with goat cheese and pine nuts, and serve.
Note: To toast the pine nuts, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, spreading them evenly in the pan. Stir occasionally until they are slightly golden about 5 minutes.