Eggplant Basil Summer Salad

Aside from myriad salsas, this salad is a great way to make use of September’s produce, and it is easy as can be.

Start with several eggplants and a handful of basil. I used many small eggplants, because the bigger ones tend to be bitter and/or mushy, but work with what you’ve got.

After washing, cut your eggplant into 1/2″ slices, then lay them out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, then cover with a paper towel. Next comes the pressing:

Place another cookie sheet atop the paper-towel-covered eggplant, and then lay on the books. Don’t have enough books? Then visit your local library! :)

This step is to squeeze out the excess water. You’re going to want to let your slices smush for about an hour, or longer, if you have better things to do.

Next you’ll brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper, then into the oven at 425┬░F for about 20 minutes. You want your eggplant to be cooked/roasted, but not totally drained of life.

After removing cooked eggplant from the oven (and letting it cool some), you’ll cut it into strips. Then, toss those strips with fresh chopped basil and balsamic vinegar. That’s it!

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