|Have you ever seen a white eggplant?|
At one time, when the eggplant was still just a misunderstood fruit, it was referred to as “mad apple” because it was thought to make you go crazy if you ate it. Obviously, this myth was busted a long time ago, but I did feel a tinge of insanity; not from eating the baby eggplants, but from wondering what to do with them. There are so many ways to prepare eggplant: baked, fried, grilled, sautéed, and stuffed— just about any way you want, really. But these were so little and I wanted to make them in a way that would show off their adorably distinct quality.
I thought and thought, and came up with this baby eggplant “carpaccio” salad. The thin slices of eggplant layered in a flat circle on the plate reminded me of the thinly sliced meat or fish in a carpaccio dish. If you make this salad, keep a watchful eye on the oven as the eggplant cooks super fast; I burnt my first batch. The tahini dressing really made the dish. This small thin variety of eggplant is available in the summer through September. I also suggest using Japanese eggplant because they are very similar in size.
|I also sautéed the baby eggplant with tomato, onion, and garlic |
in simple spaghetti topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Baby Eggplant Carpaccio Salad with Tahini Dressing:
Yield: 1 Serving
- 2-3 Italian baby or Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced on mandolin
- ½ tsp tahini paste
- Lemon juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp honey
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- A few leaves of mint and basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mixed greens (optional)
- 1 tsp crumbled goat cheese
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out slices of eggplant on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in oven for about 5 minutes. Keep a watchful eye as they can easily burn.
• In the meantime, make the dressing: combine tahini paste, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in extra virgin olive oil until an emulsion is formed. Add mint and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
• Arrange eggplant slices on a plate. Top with mixed greens and goat cheese crumbles. Pour tahini dressing over eggplant and greens.