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Categories: Salads, Vegetarian

Kuzina's butterflied roasted eggplant salad

Kuzina's butterflied roasted eggplant salad
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

In the Athens I knew when I first moved here almost 20 years ago, the taverna was still an institution. That was in the early 1990s, before a stock market boom, the Olympics, and the return of a generation of ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours steeping time for the aromatic olive oil | Serves 2
Note: The garlic olive oil and aromatic olive oil can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

Garlic olive oil

  • Peeled cloves from 1/2 head of garlic, about 7 to 8 cloves
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Greek

Step 1In a small saucepan, combine the garlic and oil and cook over low heat until the garlic turns a faint golden color, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and discard the garlic cloves. This makes about 1 cup garlic-infused oil, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The oil will keep up to 2 days, refrigerated.

Aromatic olive oil

  • 1 bunch fresh herbs (any type desired)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Greek

Step 1Blanch the herbs in a pot of boiling water until brightly colored, about 20 seconds. Drain and dry thoroughly. Place the herbs in a blender and pulse to chop, then add the olive oil and pulse to combine. Set aside for about 2 hours to steep, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. This makes about 3/4 cup aromatic oil, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The oil will keep for to 2 days, refrigerated.

Eggplant salad

  • 1 eggplant
  • Garlic olive oil, as desired
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon diced tomato
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled Greek feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • Aromatic olive oil, as desired

Step 1Roast the eggplant on a grill or stovetop burner until charred on all sides and the interior is very soft, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the heat.

Step 2Holding the stem in place, butterfly the eggplant so it opens almost like a panel, with the flesh totally exposed. Score the flesh crosswise.

Step 3Drizzle over a little garlic olive oil, the salt, tomato, feta and thyme. Garnish the eggplant with parsley and a drizzle of aromatic olive oil. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
199 calories; 4 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 4 mg. cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 1,221 mg. sodium.
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