I never used to like eggplant but I now realize I had only been exposed to oil saturated or undercooked eggplant and didn't realize how amazing it could be when slow roasted, stir fried, or best yet caramelized. Cooking eggplant slowly with onions, butter, and olive oil and finishing with a splash of balsamic creates a luxurious jammy spread that would be amazing on a sandwich, in a tart, or on bruschetta. Today I made a delicious tartine with whole grain bread and provolone. It was divine.
What you need:
1 whole vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 cups peeled and chopped eggplant (1 inch pieces)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp salted butter
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Provolone or similar melting cheese
In a shallow and wide sauce pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion first and allow to slightly brown. Cool for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and stir in eggplant. Allow to brown slightly but not burn (another 5 minutes or so) and deglaze the pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Scrape up any brown bits. Turn heat to low and cook for 45 more minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. You want everything to turn golden brown and jammy but not burn. It will start slowly but overtime you will develop deliciously sweet and savory caramelized onions and eggplant. This is a good activity for when you have a friend keeping you company in the kitchen or have other tasks that allow you to just check in on your veggies occasionally. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a big batch of yumminess to store in the refrigerator for sandwiches or make a bunch of canapés for a dinner party.
For the tartine I made some whole grain toast under the broiler in the oven. I toasted one side and then spread dijon on the toasty side. Added a heap of the onion spread, a slice of provolone on top and then back under the broiler for a minute. I finished with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Yum!