Eggplant, Basil, and Goat Cheese Salad

8.09.2010

What You Need:
1 medium eggplant
Couple leaves of basil
Crumbled goat cheese
Pine nuts (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Arugula 
Spinach
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper, to taste






What To Do:
1. You need to sweat the eggplant.  This sounds weird but here's what you do: slice the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices then sprinkle lots of salt and let sit for about an hour.  That's it!  (This process draws out the bitter juices and tenderizes the eggplant.)
2. Preheat the oven to about 375.
3. Wipe down the eggplant slices to get off all that salt and the beads of juice that formed during the sweating process.
4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the eggplant slices on the sheet in one layer.
5. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, then flip and bake for an addition 8 minutes.
7. In the mean time, prep a little spinach and arugula salad.  I just mixed the two together and dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
8. Place the pine nuts in a small pan on medium heat and toast.  Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
9. Layer the basil leaves one on top of the other.  Roll up into a little basil cigar and slice thinly.  If done correctly, you should end up with thin slices of basil curls - perfect for sprinkling on top of your salad!
10. Remove eggplant from the oven and lay a slice or two on top of your salad.  Sprinkle with goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and basil slices.  Drizzle a little extra balsamic vinegar on top of the eggplant slices.  Enjoy!

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