I used to really hate eggplant, simply because I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to cook it. I followed recipe after recipe and still it would come out hard and chewy…the furthest thing from appetizing. I have, however, finally figured out how to make eggplant the mouthwatering thing that it is: marinate it.
My sister in law is Italian and she always cooks up the best Italian inspired dishes, one of them being marinated eggplant. I never got the recipe from her, but the flavor stuck with me for years until I finally attempted my own version. This marinated eggplant is so easy and so good, there’s no reason not to make it.
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 8 ounces olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon basil*
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano*
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian parsley*
- pinch red pepper flakes
Slice the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place the slices on a sheet pan, sprinkle generously with sea salt and let sit 1 hour so the eggplant can “sweat.”
Preheat your oven to 450°. When ready, drizzle 2 ounces of olive oil on the eggplant and roast it until the centers are golden brown and the skin is soft and wrinkled.
In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining 6 ounces of olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt, pepper flakes and herbs. Add the eggplant slices and toss to coat.
In another medium bowl, layer the eggplant in a circular motion, lining the bowl. Pour the remaining marinade over the eggplant, cover and let sit 4-24 hours. After 4 hours, place in the fridge.
Enjoy with fresh mozzarella, on a salad or all by itself.
*If using fresh herbs, increase the amount by half: 1 teaspoon each of basil, oregano and Italian parsley