With this yummy salad, you’ll add a little Sicily to your holiday table! Culinarily speaking, this time of dressing is called agrodolce – sweet and sour. You’ll just find it delicious! Eggplant and fennel are two veggies that are in season this time of year, roasting them brings out the sweetness of the fennel and the earthiness of the eggplant. When you roast all the veggies, it makes the salad quick and easy.
Red pepper flakes add zip to the salad and a lot of nutrition! Due to the capsaicin food compound in the flakes, it can help boost metabolism. The more heat to the peppers or the flakes, the more capsaicin present. There are also properties within the spice that control hunger and help with digestion.
- 2 LB Eggplant, cut in 1” inch squares
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray or about 2 TB of oil
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 Large Bulb Fennel, chopped and roasted
- 1 Large Red Onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
- ¼ Cup plus 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 Cup Green Olives, (Castelvetrano) pitted and very coarsely chopped
- ¼ Cup Capers
- 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, Quartered
- 3 TB Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 TB Honey
- ½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- Coarsely Chopped Spinach.
- Chopped Flat-leaf Parsley
Toss the eggplant, fennel and onion in 3 TB oil, sea salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 435F oven for about 25 – 40 minutes or until roasty golden. (Place each veggie on a separate sheet tray – they will finish cooking at different times.)
Toss the remaining olive oil with the roasted eggplant, fennel, onion, olives, capers, tomatoes, vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes. Taste and add additional oil, vinegar or salt. Serve over spinach garnished with parsley.