I had the pleasure of lunching with lifestyle expert extraordinaire P. Allen Smith on Friday, which happened to be my birthday!. He was generous enough to give me his new cookbook called Seasonal Recipes from the Garden and sign it “To Amy, my best friend forever” (ok, that last part may be a stretch of the truth….maybe it just said Happy Birthday, Amy).
I just couldn’t wait to try a recipe! The book is categorized into seasons (love that) and the recipes are based on what fruits and vegetables come from the garden or Farmers Market. Each recipe has a little story, too, so it’s a great book for reading, too. Tonight, I made an early Fall dish (eggplant is quite abundant at the end of the summer, P. Allen says) along with Kids’ Favorite Chicken Tenders. Listen, if you think you don’t like eggplant, give this recipe a shot. It’s absolutely fabulous!!
Eggplant and Feta Salad
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 425.
In a lidded jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss the eggplant with half the vinaigrette, and save the rest for later.
Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplant about 30 minutes, stirring midway through. Let the eggplant cool just enough so that it won’t melt the feta.
Mix together the cooled eggplant, feta, tomatoes, and mint. Garnish with extra feta and mint.