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A friend of mine made this for dinner for us, and I can't tell you how good it is. It made a great side dish with our grilled salmon, and would go with any grilled meat or fish really. I would have it on it's own for lunch too. It comes from Delia Smith. If you don't have a grill pan for the top of the stove, you can just broil the eggplant, but I like the nice lines the pan leaves. The recipe tells you to skin the tomatoes, but my friend didn't bother and neither would I ! I would make this ahead though, so all the flavors can mingle and get to know one another. Plus, then it's all done, and you can have an extra glass of wine while someone else grills your meat or fish!
- 2 medium eggplants
- 8 small plum tomatoes
- 7 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you may need more for brushing the eggplant)
- 1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaf (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 ounces assorted salad leaves
- 7 fluid ounces creme fraiche (or use sour cream if you can't find it)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, and place on a baking tray, cut side up. Season well, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place them on the top shelf of the oven and roast for 50 -60 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
- While the tomatoes are cooling, cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and lay them on a board and lightly sprinkle them with salt on both sides. Leave them for 20 minutes to draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Blot them with paper towels.
- Brush them on both sides using 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and season with black pepper.
- Brush the grill pan with ollive oil and place it over a high heat, then, when it is very hot, cook the eggplant in batches for about 2 1/2 minutes each side.
- Pour the remaining 6 Tbsp olive oil into a large flat bowl, add the basil and balsamic, and toss in the cooked eggplants, coating well. Leave them to marinate.
- When you're ready to serve, divide the salad greens between 4 plates and arrange the tomatoes and eggplant alternately all around. Then place equal quantities of the feta in the middle of each salad and drizzle with the remaining marinate. Finally, put 1 Tbsp of creme fraiche on top of each salad and spinle with a little paprika.
- As you can see, this has some room for playing around with. You could certainly use more feta if you wish, or omit the salad greens -- We never did use the creme fraiche, just cuz after that extra glass of wine, we forgot it! But it was still amazing.