While my husband and Dad share a fondness for eggplant, Rice Kernel and I are ambivalent about the beautiful purple vegetable. We’ll eat it, but it’s not our first choice. For me, part of the issue is that I’m always scratching my head thinking of ways to prepare it. Stir-fry? Eggplant parmesan? Roasted as a side? Okay, I’m stuck.
So you can imagine my joy when I happened upon this recipe. Zesty with garlic and spice, this appetizing side is full of roasted vegetable sweetness. It’s great as an appetizer with goat cheese or crackers, as a base for a delicious vegetarian pannini or turkey or lamb burger, mixed with scrambled eggs, topped on grilled chicken or fish, or mixed into pasta sauces. Endlessly versatile, I’ve discovered my summer recipe for the eggplant growing in the garden.
Spicy Red Pepper and Eggplant Confit, from Gourmet, May 2006
2 lb red bell peppers, tender-roasted
1 (1 1/2-lb) eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut peppers into 1-inch pieces. Toss together all ingredients in a large roasting pan, then spread evenly. Roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour. Cool before serving. (I prefer to blend the confit until almost smooth.)