Eggplant Toasts with Goat Cheese

Hafta admit, I love eggplant. The texture is lovely, the taste is delicate, and you just can’t beat a vegetable this…purple! The fresh-out-of-the-garden eggplant is of course the best, but I’ll take a supermarket eggplant as second-best. Can’t be beat!

Sultry and satisfying, that's eggplant!

Makes about 8 toasts; double the recipe if you’d like to eat the salad straight.

1 medium eggplant, about 3/4 pound, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (not peeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for oiling baking sheet
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese, like Birchbark Farm Cloud Creme
1 scallion, thinly sliced
8 1/2-inch slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil
1 small clove garlic, peeled and halved

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or roasting pan. Toss eggplant, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and a generous amount of black pepper together in a medium bowl until evenly coated. Spread on prepared baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, moving pieces around occasional so they evenly brown. For a cold salad, let the eggplant cool a bit before mixing it with red wine vinegar, goat cheese and scallion. For a warm salad where the goat cheese glues itself to the eggplant a bit, toss the vinegar, cheese and scallion together when the eggplant just comes out of the oven. You’ll want to eat the warm salad quickly.

Broil or toast baguette slices then rub them with a garlic clove before heaping on eggplant salad. You could also mix in a handful of chopped kalamata olives, as well, and sprinkle with a handful of chopped herbs (rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, chives or what have you!)

Yum! Thanks to Deb at Smitten Kitchen (again!) for the recipe and the scrumptious picture.

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