Eggplant Verde

Our family, adults and children alike, gather each August for a beach vacation. Without fail, as predictable as the tides, each of us slides into our expected role as if we never left it. It is instinctual. Although we are all competent cooks,
I am easily coaxed into cooking big family dinners. The kitchen is where I do my best work and my siblings lovingly recognize it. My sister-in-law, anxious to learn new things, was my willing sous chef. I am happy to report that she successfully duplicated this at a dinner party of her own. I love this recipe for its simplicity. It can be served cool or room temperature; artfully showcasing the beauty of eggplant.

Eggplant Verde

1 large eggplant–cut into 1/4″ thick slices
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
3 Tbs finely chopped coriander
2 garlic cloves–finely chopped and smashed to a paste
generous pinch crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
generous pinch kosher salt (more or less to taste)
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1/2 -3/4 cup good olive oil
2 oz chevre

Layer the eggplant between paper towels to dry at least 4 hours but as long as overnight. Put the parsley, coriander, garlic, red pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to make a loose dressing.

Cook the Eggplant
Heat a skillet (it does not have to be non-stick) over medium heat. Let it get warm before placing slices of the eggplant directly on it. do not add oil, butter or spray. The eggplant will not stick. Watch it carefully and cook until it is lightly browned and softened. I tend to pay attention and flip each one 4 or 5 times before it is fully cooked through. Cook in batches and arrange the warm pieces on your serving platter. As each layer is placed on your platter…place a bit of dressing on each piece..use the back of a spoon to spread it. Do not saturate, you only want a tasting, not a drowning. Sprinkle a bit of salt on each layer as you go. Once you have cooked and layered all of the eggplant, sprinkle the chevre evenly over the top. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This can be made a full day in advance. I like to take it out of the refrigerator about a half of an hour before serving.
The leftover dressing is wonderful on steaks, chicken and shrimp..or just to dip your bread in.
While there is little chance of leftover eggplant, it is wonderful added it to sandwiches and morning omelets.

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