Roasted Eggplant and Fennel Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 2 garlic cloves or 3 small ones, whole and still wrapped in skin
  • 3 Tablespoons of chopped herbs (any kind you have on hand)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 dash paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

1.   Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the eggplant into one inch cubes and add to a large bowl, toss with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt (large rock salt if you have it). Slice the fennel into thin frons by slicing it in half first and ensuring each slice has a piece of the core to hold it together, like you would slice an orange. Add this to the bowl of eggplant and toss with the paprika and cumin and the whole garlic. You may want to use more garlic than you’ll need to ensure the cloves stay wrapped in the skin. You will need the molten roasted garlic for the dressing later.

2.  Spread the fennel, eggplant and garlic on a baking sheet or large roasting pan in a single layer, adding any extra oil on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes just as the eggplant and fennel are starting to brown. You will want to check it every so often and mix the vegetables around with a spoon.

3. While they are roasting, make the salad. Add the chopped herbs, scallions and pine puts to a large bowl. In a small bowl mix 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice with some salt and pepper and set aside.

4. When the eggplant and fennel are sufficiently slightly browned, take them out of the oven to cool. Take the roasted garlic and squeeze out each clove (2-3) into the oil and lemon mixture. It should have the consistency of a paste. Whisk vigorously with a fork and taste, adding more oil or salt if necessary.

5. Add the eggplant and fennel to the bowl of herbs and nuts and toss with the dressing.