There are so many vegetables that I love...it's hard for me to pick a favorite, but eggplant is definitely in the top 5. And around this time of year they start appearing at the Red Stick Farmers Market. Last Thursday I bought 2 (for $1!) and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.
There was a recipe from the 2005 July/August issue for Basic Roasted Eggplant with 3 accompanying recipes for eggplant salads: Curried Eggplant Salad with Peas and Cashews,
Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta, and Eggplant Salad with Tomatoes and Basil...hmm, which one to try first??
I went with the chickpea-feta version...I'm a sucker for feta! But I'm sure eggplant will find its way into my kitchen again really soon (um, like tomorrow morning after I head to the market) and I'll have to try the others. See the July/Aug EDF recipe list for links to the other two.
Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta
adapted from MarthaStewart's EDF
3 pounds eggplant (about 3 medium), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta, crumbled
1/4 cup finely shredded basil
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Divide cubed eggplant between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle each sheet with 1/2 a tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and then spread in a single layer.
Roast, turning once, until golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely on sheets.
In a jar (or bowl) combine lemon juice, 2 remaining tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Shake (or whisk) to combine.
To a large bowl, add cooled eggplant, chickpeas, feta, and basil. Add vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Per serving - 218 calories, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 28 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 7 g protein (exchanges: 2 fat, 2 vegetable, 1 starch)
Compared to original recipe - My version saves about 6 grams fat and 40 calories per serving (36 g fat and 240 calories per recipe)
Notes - The changes I made from the original recipe were 1) using less oil for roasting the eggplant, 2) cutting the amount of feta in half, and 3) swapping basil for the mint; I made extra vinaigrette and saved some to use for salads (I shredded romaine and radicchio, tossed them with a TINY bit of the saved dressing, and then topped the whole thing with the eggplant salad); I think it's a good idea to make the salad ahead of time, so that the flavors can blend for a while
Notice in the pic of the vinaigrette how there is about the same amount of lemon juice (bottom layer) as oil (top layer)...that's how I always make my salad dressing. I do a 1 to 1 ratio of fat to everything else. I usually don't even measure...squeeze the lemon (or pour vinegar), then match that amount with oil, add seasonings (salt, pepper, Dijon, garlic, etc), and done! This ensures that the dressing is "light" (i.e. without too much fat). Here is a previous post on making your own dressing.