Fried Eggplant with Peppers, Mint and Hazelnuts

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This combination is heaven for me. The mild acid of the peppers cuts the richness of the eggplant, the mint brightens it all up and hazelnuts because why not? This will also pair well with pan-roasted fish or a pork chop, but doesn’t need a fancy protein to feel complete. Similarly dots of fresh chevre or fromage blanc would be at home scattered over the top of this dish.

One of my first chefs always said, “the food will tell you when it is done.” Cook the eggplant until it is golden brown and appetizing. If it is pale and pasty in the center, it is not ready. It will be a feast for the eyes when it is.

  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • ½ bu parsley
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • ¼ C hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  1. Under the broiler, roast the pepper until its skin blisters on all sides
  2. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes
  3. Peel the pepper and remove the seeds
  4. Slice the pepper into slender strips
  5. Combine with the olive oil, vinegar, herbs and a good pinch of salt and fresh, black pepper
  6. Slice the eggplant into rounds
  7. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant in the oil until each side is golden brown, adding more oil as needed
  8. Transfer the eggplant to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm in an oven while frying the rest of the eggplant
  9. To serve, lay the eggplant out in a single layer and top with the pepper relish
  10. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top and serve warm or room temperature

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eggplant