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Roasted baby eggplant

October 15, 2008

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Serves 6

Concord Cheese Shop chef Seta Dakessian says to serve these baby eggplant with lamb or pasta or cut them up and serve them on toasted crusty bread. She adds a dollop of hummus to each one.

4tablespoons canola oil
1large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3cloves garlic, chopped
6ripe tomatoes, chopped
2teaspoons salt
1teaspoon black pepper
1teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6baby eggplant
1/4cup chopped Italian parsley

1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the onions soften.

2. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and Aleppo or crushed pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, pull a vegetable peeler lengthwise along the eggplant to peel off strips of skin, leaving 3 strips of purple skin on each one.

4. Scrape the tomato mixture into a bowl.

5. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in the skillet. Add the eggplant, setting them peeled sections down in the oil. Cook for 8 minutes, turning several times, or until they are golden.

7. Halve each eggplant lengthwise without cutting all the way through, so you can open each eggplant like a book. Fill the eggplant with the tomato mixture. Transfer to the baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a skewer.

8. Cut all the way through each eggplant, sprinkle each half with parsley. Adapted from Seta Dakessian