Eggplant with Heirloom Tomatoes
- 1 lb. eggplant (stem-ends removed, peeled and diced into cubes)
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pint of mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced (substitute with grape tomatoes)
- 1 head of fennel, sliced (reserve 1 teaspoon of chopped fennel top)
- ¼ teaspoon of fresh chopped oregano
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons raspberry red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans for garnish
- Begin by peeling the eggplant and lightly salting it. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then blot it with a paper towel to eliminate bitterness and excess moisture.
- Sautee eggplant in a large pan with olive oil over medium heat until the eggplant is soft and brown. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for an additional two minutes. Finally, add the garlic, oregano, fennel top, vinegar and sugar, and simmer for two more minutes, mixing well. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Add the heirloom tomatoes and mix once to combine flavors. Serve warm by separating evenly on four plates. Top with chopped nuts, if you wish.
This recipe was prepared exclusively for Ciruli Brothers, LLC by Chef Noah Aguilar, Executive Chef of Anza Marketplace in historic Tubac, Arizona, and Sol Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. As a committed promoter of fresh fruits and vegetables, Chef Noah participates in various industry events with the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. His work has been featured in publications such as Sunset Magazine, The Arizonian, and Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, among others. Chef Noah received his education from the New England Culinary Institute, and continues to enrich his culinary platform with the flavors of many cultures through extensive travel. When not working, Chef Noah enjoys traveling and spending time with close friends and family.