½ C (virgin) olive oil + xtra for baking sheet
2 eggplants (stemmed/unpeeled)
1-1.5 lbs plum fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 C chopped onion
4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 C lemon juice
1 T ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 C parsley
Preheat oven to 450º. Oil large, heavy baking sheet. Cut eggplant into 1" cubes, place on baking sheet. Drizzle with additional olive oil, toss to coat. Spread diced eggplant in single layer in pan and season with 1 tsp salt. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden and tender, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so eggplant doesn't overcook. Remove and cool 10 minutes. Transfer to large nonreactive mixing bowl and add tomatoes, onion and garlic.
Whisk lemon juice with cumin, paprika & cayenne pepper in small bowl. Pour mixture over eggplant & tomatoes and toss gently, taking care to keep eggplant intact. Add parsley to bowl with eggplant. Mix gently. Taste & season with more salt, and squeeze or two more lemon juice if needed. This salad actually tastes better when prepared 3-4 hours ahead so that the flavors can meld. It can also be prepared a day in advance. Refrigerate and bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6 (I used 1 eggplant and same amounts of seasonings).
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