More than just a side salad, this dish can be served hot or cold. Try it as …

  • a bruschetta topping;
  • a layer in fish tacos — the meal that inspired this salad;
  • a bed or sauce for meat, poultry or fish;
  • a stew with pasta or beans.

Serves 6-8

1 medium-size Italian eggplant, cut into medium dice
2 Tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. sea salt, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into medium dice
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. chili pepper flakes or 1/4-1/2 fresh hot chili pepper, depending on desired heat (cayenne, serrano, jalapeño), minced
1 tsp. fennel seeds
6 tomatoes, heirloom or field, cut into medium dice

Lay the diced eggplant on a dish towel or two layers of paper towel.
Sprinkle evenly with 2 Tbsp. sea salt.
Cover with another dish towel or double layer of paper towel and let sit 1 hour. Occasionally pat the eggplant with the towels to remove the moisture.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
Add onions, rosemary, remaining salt and dried chili flakes, if using.
Sauté until onions are translucent, 5 minutes.
Add eggplant, fennel seed and fresh chili pepper, if using.
Stirring occasionally, sauté until eggplant is soft and has turned from white to medium-brown.
Add tomatoes to skillet and turn heat up to medium-high.
Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

From our book Morning Glory’s Farm Food: Stories from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen. Photos by Alison Shaw.