This is one of the few ways that I’ve served eggplant that dinner guests find interesting. For the most part, eggplant is a pretty boring vegetable, imho. Of course, “boring” really means that it’s just a blank canvas for other flavors, and eggplant (like tofu and potatoes) is great at taking on the flavors with which it is mixed. In the case of this posh sounding appetizer, it’s the shallot and balsamic vinegar that provide the pop.
This appetizer is easy to prepare and only as time-consuming as it takes to roast the eggplant (45 minutes but can done in parallel with other dinner party preparations).
- 1 medium to large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 4-6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and mashed
- 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and salt pepper to coat. Roast for 45 minutes, or until very soft.
- Meanwhile, let the shallots marinate in the vinegar for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the shallot/vinegar mixture.
- When the eggplant is done, combine it with the shallot/garlic/vinegar mixture in a food processor. Pulse it into a texture that is lumpy but spreadable on bread.
- When the eggplant mixture cools to room temperature, stir in the cilantro.
- Add additional olive oil, vinegar, or salt to taste.
Serve with your favorite bread, crackers, or flatbread.