Chunky Eggplant Bruschetta
- 1 eggplant, peeled, medium dice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 onion, medium dice
- 1/2 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup drained capers
- 3/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- Pinch smoky paprika
- 1 French baguette, sliced on bias
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the eggplant on a half sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Reserve the bowl. Put it in the oven and bake until nicely charred, about 15 to 20 minutes.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the red pepper flakes and the garlic. Cook until the garlic browns, about for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the onion. Cook until onion softens, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and transfer it back to same bowl it was tossed in prior to baking. Add the onion mixture, the olives, capers, and roasted red peppers. Toss to combine. Add the sherry vinegar, fresh parsley and oregano and toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for 25 to 30 minutes to cool and marry the flavors.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste, and the smoky paprika. Spread the oil mixture on both sides of each piece of bread. Heat a grill pan over high heat and toast the bread until grill marks form, flipping once. Remove the eggplant from the refrigerator and spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons on top of each piece of bread. Serve.
Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo Jr.