Simple Roasted Eggplant with Currants and Pine Nuts

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Chef Dave Lawrence’s simple eggplant recipe –aka “Aubergine a la Dave”– was a lunchtime favorite on the Spirit of Scotland, editor Pam Brandon’s temporary home during a journey up the Caledonian Canal through the stunning Scottish Highlands. (Read all about her trip here.) Florida eggplants are harvested from September through June, so hit your local farm market and try this easy dish yourself.

Chef Dave Lawrence

Aubergine a la Dave

Serves 4

2 large eggplants

¾ cup currants

½ cup sherry vinegar

½ bunch celery, including leaves

½ small red onion

10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ cup toasted pine nuts

½ bunch curly parsley, coarsely chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Roast whole eggplant on a baking sheet until soft, 35 to 45 minutes.

While eggplant roasts, soak currants in sherry vinegar. Finely dice celery, reserving leaves, and red onion. Quarter cherry tomatoes.

Cool eggplant 30 minutes, then slice lengthways. Score flesh without breaking the skin, then season with salt and pepper. Brush cut side with olive oil and grill until golden-brown grill marks form, 2 to 3minutes.

Strain currants and reserve liquid. Mix together currants, spine nuts, red onions, cherry tomatoes and parsley, seasoning with reserved vinegar and olive oil (to taste). Season with salt and pepper.

Place eggplant half on plate, pour salad on top and garnish with celery leaves.

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