Mixed Tomato Salad With Roasted Eggplant
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This is an example of a recipe that has well-developed flavors but cannot be prepared at the last minute. It would be best to start it earlier in the day to make sure that it can be made properly. It also is assembled on each individual plate and looks gorgeous!

The first thing to do is the chili-infused oil. Start by measuring three quarters of a cup of olive oil and putting it in a small bowl. Next, finely chop one chili pepper and place it in the oil. My favorite chili to use is serrano, but any other small chili that is desired will work. Add one teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of sugar and thoroughly whisk the ingredients. Allow the bowl to sit for at least half an hour so that the chili can flavor the oil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut two eggplants into thin slices. Half an inch thick is good, but nothing wrong with a little thinner. Pour the oil over the eggplant slices and toss them to make sure that they are well coated. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet covered with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is golden brown. Place on paper towels to allow them to drain and cool.

Chop about two pounds of tomatoes into slices that are about half an inch thick. It is good to have a variety of kinds of tomatoes. Some Roma tomatoes are good. So is a beefsteak tomato, some heirloom tomatoes, and some different colored grape tomatoes.

Use a small blender to prepare the salad dressing out of half of a cup of lemon juice, half of a cup of sugar, one cup of olive oil, one teaspoon of salt, half of a teaspoon of pepper, three cloves of garlic, and two large handfuls of basil. Have some extra basil for serving.

Take two red onions and slice them into rings as thin as you possibly can.

On each of eight plates, begin by creating a layer of eggplant. Then add a layer of sliced tomato and a layer of onion. Continue with layers until you end with small tomatoes and some finely chopped basil. When you are ready to serve the salad, pour some dressing over the top.

This salad would also be amazing with some finely chopped Greek olives and some feta on top. Of course, you cannot go wrong with some toasted pine nuts, either!


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