Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Eggplant - Joy of Kosher

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Eggplant

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Eggplant

Eggplant can be a delicious addition to pasta dishes, pizza, and focaccia. Once you learn to cook the eggplant properly you will want to add it to all your meals.

Salting eggplant draws out excess moisture. Not salting can make eggplant soggy and greasy. The cells in eggplant hold a lot of water and when fried, the cells bloat with oil and water, YUCK! By drawing the water out of the cells, the cells collapse and do not fill with oil, and crispy eggplant is achieved. YAY!

The process is as follows: Slice eggplant into 1-inch thick rounds or lengthwise into slices. Cover the surface with kosher or sea salt. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry. The eggplant will crisp up and be flavorful without being soggy.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplant, diced, salted, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
  • 2 roasted red peppers (jarred are fine), sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked al dente
  • Garnish: chopped Kalamata olives, fresh chopped basil, fresh chopped mint, grated Parmesan cheese for dairy meals

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place eggplant and onion on lined sheet and toss with evoo, salt, and pepper. Roast eggplant for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

3. Toss tomatoes and almonds with evoo and add to sheet pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Add grated garlic and roasted red peppers and continue roasting for 10 minutes.

4. Transfer roasted ingredients to a large platter. Mix cooked pasta and spinach with vegetables. Drizzle with evoo and toss with Kalamata olives, fresh basil and mint, and Parmesan (for dairy meals).