I am a true believer that roasting is the best way to create the perfect mouthful of eggplant. More so, baking these Mediterranean vegetables at a very high heat in the oven can transform soggy, dull pieces of jarred artichokes into fresh, crispy marvels. I toss the eggplant and artichokes piping hot with a simple salsa verde--chives, parsley, anchovy paste, lemon juice and capers--and pile them high over a simple filet of fish. You can use any leftover herbs for the salsa, and any sturdy fish as the center-piece. But what really makes these simple Mediterranean flavors come together, and gives the eggplant an extra salty bite, is the anchovy paste in the salsa. —PhoebeLapine
2 side servings
Japanese eggplant (1 small regular), cut into ½ inch rounds
small red onion, quartered and sliced
marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
In a large rimmed baking dish, combine the eggplant, onion, and artichoke hearts with a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Toss until fully coated, and then shake the pan to make sure the vegetables lie flat and have the maximum possible surface area exposed. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. With a spatula, redistribute the vegetables so they brown on the opposite side, and return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes, until the vegetables are dark brown and caramelized.
In the meantime, combine the capers, herbs, anchovy paste, lemon juice, oil and salt in a small bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.
When the vegetables have finished roasting, toss them together with the salsa verde.
To serve, top a centerpiece protein (I recommend a fish fillet) with the eggplant mixture, or arrange on a side platter, and garnish with some chopped chives.
Phoebe is a writer, gluten-free chef, culinary instructor, award-winning blogger, and author of The Wellness Project. You can find her healthy comfort food and gluten-free finds on www.FeedMePhoebe.com