Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1/2 cup eggplant mixture and 2 bread halves)

Eggplant is a tricky ingredient. Anyone can cook it, but not everyone can coax it toward luxuriousness. It rewards the patient cook, the one who would not dare serve it with even a tinge of spongy nakedness. Eggplant deserves constant, controlled heat, and will yield at just the perfect moment.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat your broiler.

Step 2

Toss the eggplant with the salt. Place in a colander over a bowl to catch any liquid run-off. Tumble occasionally. Let the eggplant sit for 10 minutes or so before using.

Step 3

Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl.

Step 4

When the oil wrinkles into a semi-psychedelic haze, just before it reaches the smoke point, add the eggplant in a single layer. Let cook for 2 minutes before attempting to stir.

Step 5

Now grab a wooden spoon. Sauté the eggplant for about 5 minutes or until well browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Add the yellow onion and the garlic. Stir.

Step 6

Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the sugar, sherry vinegar, and thyme. Fold to integrate, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, until the mixture softens and becomes unified.

Step 7

Turn off the heat. Let the eggplant mixture rest for a few minutes--right there in the pan.

Step 8

Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil until slightly charred on both sides, 1 minute per side. Remove the bread. Put the walnuts on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Step 9

Broil the walnuts until the first sign of char appears on a single nut piece. Remove from the oven and fold into the eggplant mixture. Add the parsley to the eggplant mixture.

Step 10

To serve, spoon a generous amount of eggplant mixture on the bread slices. Sprinkle evenly with the pecorino Romano.

Cooking Light Mad Delicious

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