By David Cohen
Meat, veggies, cheese, beer, salami, tortillas, rum -- the list goes on. The number of food and beverage producers here in the Mad River Valley is incredible! And if we cooks weren’t already lucky enough, we can now add dried herbs to the list of local products. The Mad River Botanicals’ dried oregano I picked up at Mehuron’s for this eggplant roast was the best thing to fresh I’ve ever found on a supermarket shelf.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and then slice about 2 pounds of eggplant into ¾-inch rounds. In a large bowl, use your hands to toss the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of salt and enough olive oil to coat well. It may take as much as 1/2 cup depending on how thirsty your eggplant is.
Place the slices on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
While those are cooking, mix together 6 to 8 minced anchovy fillets, 1 tablespoon plus of red wine vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Pull the eggplant from the oven when they’re golden on the outside and creamy all the way through. Set aside to cool and then gently toss with the anchovy mixture, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon of dried oregano.
It’s May, only one more week until the Waitsfield Farmers Market!