Fairytale Eggplant with Bitter Greens, Cherry Tomatoes and Savory Yogurt

Eggplant is often polarizing.  It can be bitter, rubbery or bland, but when cooked properly it is heavenly.  I love using the little fairytale eggplants because they are very manageable and easy to cook.  I use a method of scoring and salting the eggplant to enhance the flavor and texture while reducing some of the moisture and bitterness.  The result is sweet and tender flesh that plays nicely with the bitter greens, juicy tomatoes and creamy yogurt.

 

1 pound fairytale eggplant, halved lengthwise and scored
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning greens and cherry tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bunch dandelion greens or other bitter greens
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
freshly milled black pepper
basil leaves for garnish

  1. Season the scored eggplant evenly with the measured kosher salt and allow to sit.  Meanwhile wash and halve the cherry tomatoes and trim and wash the dandelion greens.  Prepare the yogurt mixture (recipe below) by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. In a wide skillet over medium heat, warm 6 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Place the eggplant halves cut side down in a single layer.  Cook until lightly browned about 7 minutes.  Turn eggplant over and cook on skin side until the flesh is tender all the way through, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from pan and set aside.  
  3. In the same skillet, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and wilt the dandelion greens.  Season with salt and pepper and add the sliced garlic.  Continue to cook for 2 minutes until the greens are tender and the garlic is no longer raw.  
  4. Spread the yogurt mixture on a large platter with the back of a spoon.  Layer the greens on top of the yogurt, then the cooked eggplant.  Garnish with cherry tomatoes, black pepper and basil leaves.

Lemon-garlic yogurt

1 cup greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated on microplane
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt

 


 

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