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What can I say about this eggplant dish? It’s one of the simplest recipes you will find on Marta’s Plants as well as in Italian cuisine. Basil and tomatoes (Ms. Mozzarella is missing) are our freshest and most basic ingredients – and probably the best in the world if I may say so?? All you need for this, really, is high quality ingredients. The simpler they are, the better they need to be, because you’ll be able to truly taste them.
I don’t like frying or eating fried food – although I can agree that fried eggplants are delicious! – so I make them this way very often, especially when I have guests over. I also love turning eggplants into babaganoush (I’ll have to make a post about that another time!).
About the purple garlic: when I bought it it was of a deep purple color outside, as you can see in the photos, and the market lady told me it was “purple garlic from Sicily”. But its real name, as I later found out, is “red garlic of Nubia”, a variety grown in Sicily (specifically in the natural reservoir of Paceco, Trapani). This kind of garlic grows on dark and dry clay-rich soil and is harvested in the winter at nighttime because the higher humidity helps weaving the stalks. Isn’t that curious?! 🙂
Roasted eggplant with tomatoes and purple garlic // vegan
by Marta Giaccone
prep time: 15 min, cook time: 40 min, total: 55 min
½ kg ripe tomatoes (preferably cherry, date, or any other small variety)
handful fresh basil
1 clove garlic
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.
- Wash and pat dry the eggplants.
- Cut each in half, lengthwise. With the tip of a pointed knife, score the flesh quite deeply (don’t cut the skin!) in a diamond pattern.
- Brush each half with about half a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake, cut side down, for about 40 minutes, until they collapse and are of a deep brown color. When ready, let cool!
- In the meantime prepare the tomato salad. Chop tomatoes, garlic clove and fresh basil very finely and add to a bowl. Add salt and olive oil and mix.
- When eggplants are room temperature, serve topped with the tomatoes and some extra fresh basil leaves.