Roasted Eggplant With Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins and Mint 6.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian May 12, 2019

This room-temperature salad is a smart combination of the cooked, the raw and the pickled. Roasting eggplant in chunks with a generous amount of olive oil turns their interiors creamy and their skin slightly crisp. Brown sugar and vinegar transform raisins into something tart-sweet and much more interesting than plain. Garlicky bread crumbs add a little crunch.


Servings:
6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium (1 1/2 pounds total) eggplant, cut into large chunks
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Whisk together the brown sugar, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the raisins, and let the mixture sit/macerate while you make the rest of the recipe.

Toss the eggplant on the baking sheet with 1/4 cup of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Roast until the eggplant is tender and golden brown on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

While the eggplant is roasting, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs, increase the heat to medium, and toast, stirring, until golden brown and fragrant, 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Once the eggplant is done, let it cool for about 15 minutes (to room temperature). Add the tomatoes and mint, tossing to incorporate, right on the baking sheet. Transfer to individual plates, then top with the mozzarella, pickled raisins and garlicky bread crumbs. Drizzle on the liquid from the raisins, sprinkle with the lemon zest and pepper, and serve.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables," by Abra Berens (Chronicle Books, 2019).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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