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April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Almonds and Goat Cheese is perfect seasonal dish
Eggplant's silky, melting texture is what I want when the weather is cool. It's light yet satisfying, the perfect comfort food. Some people guiltily buy avocados in winter; others, pineapple. Me, I buy eggplant. And when I do, I make this salad.
This is not a cold salad (although you could eat it cold; it's quite good at room temperature). But it's best warm and straight out of the oven.
The eggplant is tossed with olive oil and a touch of vinegar, smoked paprika and cumin, and roasted until soft and buttery. Then I toss it with chopped smoked, salted almonds, goat cheese, parsley and a touch of lemon. It's comforting yet fresh, hearty yet light. Smoky, a little tangy, rich.
This is good all on its own, or as a side dish. I especially like it piled up on a piece of whole wheat toast as an open-faced sandwich. It lasts well, too -- a bowl of this makes a week of lunches for me.
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ROASTED EGGPLANT SALAD WITH SMOKED ALMONDS AND GOAT CHEESE
- 2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
- Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
Heat the oven to 400 F. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.
Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika and cumin. Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast at 400 F for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir every 15 minutes and check after 30 minutes to make sure it isn't burning.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
Whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce. Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture. Stir in the parsley leaves, smoked almonds, and most of the goat cheese, reserving a little.
Spread the finished salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved goat cheese crumbles and scallions on top.
(Faith Durand is managing editor of TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to email@example.com.)
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