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Author Notes: A smoky, nutty, sweet, slightly tangy mess of caramelized eggplant topped with crunchy pecans and fresh chives from the garden. —Eve Fox
- 3 pounds eggplant (3 medium or 8-10 slender Japanese eggplants)
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 handful fresh chives, washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup drained, crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Slice the eggplant into wedges or chunks of roughly the same size and shape to ensure even cooking. Sprinkle liberally with salt and set in a colander or sieve in the sink to drain, turning a few times to ensure that the salt coats the eggplant slices evenly. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes then give a quick rinse to remove some of the salt. Toss the eggplant slices with the olive oil, molasses, pepper and garlic powder, turning until everything is well-coated with the mixture, then put it in the oven to roast, turning every 15-20 minutes to avoid burning or sticking. Cook until you are satisfied with the results which should be soft and caramelized - the exact cooking time will vary depending on how large or small you've cut your eggplant but I'd guess that it will take at least 35-40 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to toast and chop the pecans and chop up the chives.
- Remove the eggplant from the baking sheet with a metal spatula and place in the serving bowl or platter of your choice. Top with the pecans, chives and feta cheese, if you choose to use it. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.