Savory Eggplant Appetizer with Fresh Herbs
The process requires snacks and Italian beer
1 ripe eggplant
5 cloves of garlic, slivered very thin
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh rosemary and/or thyme and/or basil*
*Whatever you can find that looks good and is fresh
Clean the eggplant well, then slice vertically into even 1/16” discs (don’t worry if they aren’t 100% perfectly uniform—they will look artisan!). Lay out into a single layer onto a large piece of paper towel, then sprinkle with a small pinch of salt onto each eggplant disc. Wait about 20-30 minutes, until each piece sweats large pieces of dew, this pulls out an abundance of unwanted bitterness. Then flip each disc over and repeat with salt, waiting another 20-30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then drizzle in about 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Place the eggplant into the skillet one at a time, making sure not to over crowd the pan, flip the eggplant about about 3-5 minutes per side then set aside on a large plate. Repeat until all the eggplant is cooked.
In a medium glass dish, begin the layering. Drizzle some olive oil, add in a layer of eggplant, then some torn herbs, a few pieces of slivered garlic, another drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt; repeat in this order until you have used up all the eggplant. You can of course eat immediately if you are in a rush, but I suggest letting it sit at least 2-3 hours before consuming—the longer it sits, the more infused the oil gets with savory garlicky-herbaceous flavor.
Serve with bread and parmesan cheese, making sure to dip the bread into the flavorful oil. Pair with a light, earthy red-wine such as an Oregon Pinot Noir.
Keep this mixture at room temperature and consume within 3-4 days of making. Buon appetito!