frying pan or sauté pan
- 3 small eggplant or 2 medium/large - see note 1, cut into 2cm cubes
- 3 zucchini cut into 1cm rounds
- 2 red peppers core and membrane removed and cut in half lengthways
- 8 medium size tomatoes sliced into 2cm thick slices
- 1/4 c salted capers rinsed under running water and pat dried
- 1/2 c sliced Sicilian olives remove stone and cut into thin slices -see note 2
- 1/4 c olive oil good quality extra virgin - may need a little more
- 1 onion large, peeled, halved and sliced into 1cm wedges or slices
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped finely (roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Italian parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp basil leaves roughly chopped or torn
- 1/2 tsp salt used throughout recipe for seasoning of vegetables etc
- 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- basil leaves, extra for garnish
- extra salt for seasoning at the end, if required
To Roast Vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 200°C or 175°C fan forced. Line up to 3-4 oven trays with baking paper. If you have a conventional oven you will be roasting the vegetables one tray at at time, whereas if using a fan forced oven you can roast multiple trays at the same time. I have used both types of ovens and the only difference is that it will take you more time in a conventional oven. Prepare the eggplant by placing them into a bowl and lightly coating with some of the olive oil, then spreading them out onto one of the oven trays and season well with some of the salt. Repeat this process for the zucchinis and tomatoes. Tip: When roasting eggplant, I often use olive oil spray to coat them (I spray the baking paper lined tray all over, then add the eggplant in one layer, and spray the top of the eggplant pieces with more oil). The reason I do it this way is because eggplants are like sponges and tend to soak up a lot of oil, so spraying them coats them lightly and they will be less oily when cooked. Prepare the red pepper halves by coating them lightly in olive oil and placing them skin side up on a tray.Put the tray or trays of vegetables into the oven and roast until they are nicely browned and cooked through. Turn the vegetables (except the red peppers) over after 20 minutes so they brown on both sides. The total cooking time for the vegetables are approximate (see note 3). Eggplant: 25-30 minutes (ie 20 minutes on one side, and 5-10 minutes longer on other side). Zucchini: 35-40 minutes (20 minutes one side, 15-20 minutes on other side)Tomatoes: 45 minutes (20 minutes one side, 25 minutes on other side)Red Peppers: 30 minutes (on one side only - skin side up)Once all the vegetables are nicely browned on both sides and cooked through, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature on plates or a tray. Place the red pepper halves into a bowl and cover the bowl with glad wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the skin which should come off easily and discard. Cut the flesh into 2cm pieces and set aside with the other vegetables. Once cooled, add all the vegetables to a platter or salad bowl (I like to use a platter for this salad as it shows off all the colours better).
To make the dressing (this can be done while the vegetables are roasting):
Heat a heavy based frying pan over a low to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of the salt and stir, then reduce the heat to low and slow cook the onion for 20 minutes or until it is nicely softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, turn the heat up to low/medium and cook until the onions and garlic are soft and only just showing a little colour on the edges. Reduce the heat to low again and add the sherry and brown sugar. Stir and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To Assemble the Salad:
Add the onion and sherry dressing to the roasted vegetables along with the sliced olives, capers, basil, parsley and pepper. Season to taste with salt if required. When ready to serve, garnish with the remaining basil leaves/tips.Serve at room temperature.Refrigerate any left over salad in a sealed container. Consume within 3 days.
Note 1: I prefer to use small to medium sized eggplant if I can find them. I recommend 3 small or 2 medium ones for this recipe. If you can only get larger sized eggplants then just use 1. Look for firm eggplants as they are fresher.
Note 2: I use Sicilian olives in this recipe and often it is hard to find them with the stone removed. Simply cut around the stone and then slice the flesh into thin slices. The 1/2 cup measurement is for the sliced flesh. I like the firmer texture and flavour of Sicilian olives in this dish but you can substitute with other green or black olives if you can’t find Sicilian ones.
Note 3: Cooking times for the roasted vegetables are approximate because all ovens vary. Also some parts of our ovens can be hotter than other parts (hotspots), so even on one tray you might find some of the pieces of vegetables are browning more quickly than others. We want the vegetables to be nicely browned (not burnt) and cooked through (nothing worse than biting into an uncooked piece of eggplant!), so please use your intuition. Remove any vegetable pieces that have browned and cooked before others. Leave the others in until they are nicely browned (but not dry or crispy). See the photos. 😁
Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 1029mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 3014IU | Vitamin C: 97mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg