A few years ago, I met Australian celebrity chef Kylie Kwong at the Eveleigh farmers’ market in Sydney. Kylie’s well known for her Asian fusion food, which often features extra virgin olive oil. Serve this as a starter or side dish.
- 1 1/2 pounds Japanese eggplants 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- Several sprigs (about 1/4 bunch) fresh thyme
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Halve eggplants lengthways, leaving the stems intact. Place in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the 1/3 cup of olive oil, sprinkle with the garlic and thyme sprigs, and season with salt. Tightly cover the baking sheet with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until eggplants are tender. Remove from oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Remove the foil and the thyme sprigs. Bake the eggplants, uncovered, 15 more minutes, or until lightly browned. Arrange the eggplants on a platter and top with the sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 6 to 8 — Recipe adapted from Cooking with Heart and Soul with Kylie Kwong, abc.net.au