A beautiful new grocery store chain opened in my area- so exciting!! On my first visit, the produce section had a giant table covered in vegetables from a Hudson Valley farm (with lovely pictures of the farm hanging over it!). The center of the table had a pile of gorgeous Sicilian eggplant- round, light purple, HUGE…. delicious! I increased the amount of eggplant in this Food and Wine “staff-favorite” dish because I had to buy more than two of these beauties! 🙂
This dish was a wonderful vegetarian main but would also work as a hearty side dish. The eggplant was tender and sweet with brightness from the lemon zest-seasoned creamy ricotta. The crunchy bread topping was the icing on the cake. We ate it with a fabulous arugula salad on the side. My meat-loving husband enjoyed it too!
- 3 large Sicilian eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (2 large eggplants could be substituted)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
- cooking spray, for greasing the pan
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 scallions, thinly slices
- 2 T unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 4 T Greek Yogurt
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 6 oz baguette, torn into 1/2-inch pieces, crust removed, if desired (I left it for the crunch) (alternatively country white bread could be used)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (I set my oven to convection roast.)
- On 2 baking sheets, spread the eggplant in an even layer. Drizzle with 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Roast for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, toss the scallions with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions to the eggplant and dot with the butter. Roast for 15 minutes longer, stirring, until the eggplant is tender.
- In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta with the Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, toss the bread with the remaining 1 T of olive oil.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer the eggplant and onions to the baking dish.
- Dollop the ricotta mixture on top and spread to cover. Scatter the bread on top.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until the bread is golden.
Note: The roasted eggplant and onions can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
One Year Ago: