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Baby Eggplant with Oregano and Red Onion

This wonderful recipe can be served as a starter, part of an antipasti table, a side dish, or meat-free entrée with the addition of some ricotta salata or feta cheese. The eggplant is roasted to melting perfection with olive oil and dried oregano. The red onions are marinated in red wine vinegar, tossed with fresh oregano, and served on top. The contrast of the creamy, mellow eggplant and the crisp, tart onions is fantastic!

Baby Eggplant with Oregano and Red Onion

1¼ lbs. baby eggplant (use Japanese eggplant if unavailable and cut into quarters)
3 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 small red onion, cut into thin half moons
3 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt or 1/2 tsp. table salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
few sprigs fresh oregano

Heat the oven to 425°F. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, keeping the stalks on. Pour 3 tbs. olive oil onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with the dried oregano and some seasoning. Add the eggplant, cut-side down and gently swirl them around, then turn them so they are cut-side up and roast for 15 minutes, by which time they should be tender and golden.

Meanwhile, put the onion in a bowl and toss with the vinegar and salt. Let them sit at least 15 minutes, then stir in the ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, and fresh oregano.

Arrange the eggplant on a platter and top with onions. It may be served hot or left for about half an hour to cool to room temperature.

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