Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Mint

This is the time of year when I feel guilty posting recipes for brownies and cupcakes and raw cookie dough.  And although those types of posts are sure to surface soon (within the next week I feel like), I’ll go with the healthy flow for now.

Partially because I’m doing this cleanse thingy again, which means that although I love you enough to bake for you without eating it myself, we’re only on day 2 here so I’m trying to fill my brain only with thoughts of leafy greens, coconut water, and herbal tea.

(No OMG I eat way more than that.  Just…those are healthy things.)

Whole Living revamped their 28 day renewal plan from last year, and I loved it so much last time that I decided on a whim to do it again.  There’s some stuffs I can’t eat for a week or two or whatever, but I love this cleanse because I get so excited about what I can eat.  Which makes me feel dumb because then I realize that I can obviously eat all of these things all the year long.  Fruits. Unprocessed foods.  You know.  Those things that you’re supposed to eat.  I eat pretty well most of time, but everyone can use a fridge full of vegetables to get them back on track.

ANYWAYS.  Blah blah blah healthy blah blah stuff blah blah resolutions.  Back to the eggplant.  And tomatoes.  And oh lordy, the mint and the garlic.

I feel almost feel bad posting this as a recipe.


Almost.

Roasted eggplant gets caramelized and soft and melt-in-your-mouth.  Roasted tomatoes…well…let’s just say I don’t know why I don’t roast all my tomatoes.  I forget how concentrated and rich they get with a little time in the oven.


Then you do this thing where you make this fake pesto-ish-y kind of business.  And by pesto-y, I mean there are herbs and garlic.  So…yes.  This is not a blog about technical Italian cooking.

Mince some garlic.  Chop a lot of mint.  As soon as your hot eggplant and tomatoes come out of the oven, ambush them with your herbs and garlic.  Yes!  I know!  The garlic is raw.  Do not be afraid!  The heat from the veggies will soften the bite and spice, and you’ll be left with pure garlic flavor.  Mixed with mint.  And such.

Stir this stuff into some couscous or pearl barley.  Chop everything up even more and spread it on bruschetta.  Eat it by itself.  I ate mine over some slightly wilted kale and wished I could only eat roasted minty garlicky goodness all the time.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Mint

Serving number depends on what you do with it…I spread mine out over 2 meals (to make it last, not because I couldn’t have eaten it all at once)

Ingredients:
1 eggplant (the big, purple, normal kind)
2 medium to large tomatoes (I used creole tomatoes, and I’m not exactly sure what kind they were)
1 1/2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tsp dried oregano, depending on your taste
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
freshly cracked black pepper
2 TBS chopped fresh mint
1 small to medium-ish clove of garlic, peeled and minced

Directions:
1. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Line a baking sheet with paper towels, and place the eggplant slices on the paper towels in a single layer.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, then flip and lightly sprinkle the other side.  Cover the slices with paper towel.  Let sit with something slightly heavy (I used a cookbook) on top of the eggplant for about 25 to 30 minutes to get some of the liquid out.  Pat the eggplant dry with a clean paper towel.  Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the upper middle position.
2. Cut each tomato into 6 to 8 wedges and scrape out the seeds and extra juice.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly brush with olive oil.  Place the eggplant slices and tomato wedges in a single layer on the pan.  Brush the tops of the veggies with the remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle dried oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper evenly over the veggies.  Roast for about 30 minutes, until the tomato has just begun to shrink and the eggplant is slightly golden on top and soft.  (You may have to the take the tomatoes out a few minutes before the eggplant.)
3. When the eggplant are done, transfer them to a cutting board and cut each slice into quarters.  Transfer the eggplant and tomatoes to a medium bowl.  Add the mint and garlic and toss to coat.  Salt to taste.  Serve warm.  Veggies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day.

Thanks for reading, happy baking (and cooking), and happy new year!

P.S. Sorry these photos aren’t the awesomest.  The problem with cooking at night is…it’s night time.

P.P.S. Every time I’ve tried to type “cooking” in this post, I’ve typed “cookie.”  How much longer is this cleanse thing?

 

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