Eggplant tricolor

Roasting eggplant seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper makes a tasty base for eggplant tricolor.

Kitchen Report
Eggplant tricolor is a classic Italian dish with roasted eggplant, a tangy sweet pepper relish, and fresh mozzarella.

I generally feel kind of so-so about eggplant, even if I love its shape and dark purple color. But I love it in dishes where it kind of slips into the background, like rustic ratatouille. The same goes for eggplant tricolor.

I found the recipe for eggplant tricolor in “Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi” by Yotam Ottolenghi, given to me on a whim by my friend Rebecca. The cookbook is a collection of recipes the author wrote for a vegetarian column called The New Vegetarian in The Guardian’s weekend magazine.

Vegetables are increasingly gaining more attention from chefs as more consumers are interested in cutting down on their meat consumption, an effort the author respects even he himself isn’t a vegetarian.

“Recent campaigns for the reduced consumption of meat emphasize how wasteful it is to gain our calories from meat rather than vegetables, pulses, or grains. This argument and the general sense of over-indulgence over the last few decades have convinced many to include less meat in their diet, to make it special and valuable again,” writes Ottolenghi in his introduction to “Plenty.”

I feel it is really true that we’ve gotten away from understanding the value of meat – that it has become too accessible and inexpensive to remember what is involved in processing animals into packaged meat. I’m not vegetarian but I aspire to the theory of just using meat as flavoring or highlighting it for special occasions.

Eggplant tricolor is a traditional Italian dish and featured in “Plenty.” Ottolenghi mixes it up a bit by suggesting the use of cilantro instead of basil. But I went with basil, because it reminded me of the classic mozzarella and tomato summer salad caprese.

I love the colors in this dish! I made this to go as a side with a breaded baked cod fillet (wild caught). The leftover salsa continued to develop rich flavors and I mixed it into salad for a tangy kick.

Eggplant tricolor

From “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi

Serves 4

3 medium eggplants
 olive oil
 Sea salt and black pepper
 1 yellow pepper, diced
 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
 3-1/2 tablespoons capers, plus 1 tablespoon of the caper brine
 5 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella
 1 cup cilantro (or 1 cup basil)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch coins. Place the slices on the baking sheet and brush both sides generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplants begin to soften an turn golden brown. Allow to cool.

2. While the eggplant roasts, combine the bell pepper, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, and brine, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside for 30 minutes.

3. To serve, arrange the eggplant slices, slightly overlapping, on a serving dish. Break the mozzarella into large chunks over top. Spoon over salsa and finish with the cilantro or basil leaves.

Note: The salsa will keep for several days in the fridge. The flavors will deepen and meld. Use as a topping for grilled or baked fish, or stir into a leafy salad.

Related post on Kitchen Report: Rustic ratatouille

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to