Baked Baby Eggplants

by Fresh and Frugal

I love church. No, really. Go to church. Please. On Sunday, don’t think about anything vaguely related to food, but just whatever or whoever you talk to/worship/praise, because while you’re doing your thing, I’m at the market. The nice, quiet, packed-to-the-gills-with-fresh-produce market. All the newest goodies that are usually gone by the time I get there and just can’t be replaced quickly enough are lying there, relaxing on their backs with those brilliantly colored bellies bared and ready for my inquisitive hand.
Guess what I found this week?! Baby eggplants! They’re just coming into season, and I was lucky enough to grab a lovely handful (8, I think?) on the very first day they were laid out. Long but small green little hat-stems sprout from the tops of their little purple heads, and I couldn’t stop myself. So here I am, wondering what to make with them. Do I revisit the Moroccan Spiced Eggplant, but with a beefy twist since I’ve since invested in some tri-tip steak (which I promptly froze)? Or do I cut them into itty bitty pieces and marinate them with lemon and capers for a summery salad? Whatever I do, I want to preserve their lovely little shape. I KNOW! What do I do best? ROAST!
Well, so they’re baked this time, I guess. Well, I’m not really sure what you’d call it. They were in the oven, and then they came out, and now they’re in my tummy. The layer of Feta I added to cushion the tomato (did you ever doubt I’d find a way to wiggle my tomato obsession into this post?) is just right — briny and sharp and gooey — for playing up the leaf of fresh basil that tops each little veggie pocket. It’s hard to believe I didn’t like eggplant a few weeks ago. Mere weeks!
Baked Baby Eggplants
8 baby eggplants
10-15 cherry tomatoes/4 roma tomatoes
4 oz. Feta
1 healthy drizzle of olive oil
Preheat to 400.
Wash and slice the eggplants lengthwise, laying out on a foiled baking sheet. Top with hunks of feta.
Wash and slice the tomatoes, then lay those atop the feta. I had to sort of rest mine against one another because they kept trying to tip over. What the heck?!
Top with a drizzle of oil (and maybe a light sprinkle of salt) and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes.
Plate the eggplant bites. Serve immediately.
Note: I’m sure topping each of these with a fresh Basil leaf would be prettier and would still be fantastic.
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