Roasted eggplant goes with everything
I just love roasted eggplant. It might be that it reminds me of my mother. She made this dish throughout my childhood - only she melted tons of parmigiano-reggiano on the top. I skip that step. Usually. The roasted eggplant and tomato are delicious enough on their own.
Prep work - score the top of the eggplant halves
I often wonder what my mother would think of me writing a blog and sharing my recipes with the world. Her name was Mary Dolores Ago and, unfortunately, she passed away at a young age before there were blogs or even the internet. Though gregarious and very social, my mother could also be very guarded and she didn't share her recipes with anyone - including me and we were very close. Her marinara was amazing - but she made it when I was at school and all traces of the ingredients were swept away before I came home. My mother grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and was very "Boston Brahmin" - highly discreet and inconspicuous. She grew up in The Depression and went to Brookline High School with Barbara Walters. But I digress!
This is as simple as falling off a log. Score a checkerboard pattern on the top of the eggplant. Slice plum tomatoes and place on top. I put about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on top before roasting. Plum tomatoes are pretty tasteless when uncooked - but they release their flavor when roasted.
Tin foil in the pan to make cleanup easy
Arrange the sliced plum tomatoes on the eggplant halves. I sprinkle with Herbs de Provence or dried oregano on top - they add color and flavor. Roast for 35 - 45 minutes at 350 degrees depending on the size of the eggplant - you really can't overcook. (I suppose if you cooked for 3 hours at 500 degrees you probably could!)
To all you moms out there - please keep a journal of your favorite recipes to share with your children. They will hopefully be passed down from generation to generation. And the actor in me appreciates the "sense memory" of this recipe of my mother's. I always think of her when I taste her roasted eggplant dish.
Served here with bay scallops
1 medium eggplant per person
2 plum tomatoes per eggplant
2 tspns extra virgin olive oil
1 tspn Herbs de Provence or oregano
2 tbspns fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees
Slice eggplant in half lenght-wise
Score a checkerboard pattern on each half, about 1/4" deep
Slice tomatoes vertically; arrange on eggplant halves
Divide oil between 2 halves
Sprinkle Herbs de Provence or oregano
Roast for 35 - 45 minutes
Remove from oven and squirt the fresh lemon juice onto both halves