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Braised Eggplant with Brandywine Tomatoes
By Melissa's Corporate Chefs

Braised Eggplant with Brandywine Tomatoes

6 small Italian Eggplants
2 medium Onion cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick wedges
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus 3 tablespoons
5 large Heirloom Tomatoes (use Brandywine Tomato) coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Organic Parsley chopped
1/3 cup Basil chopped
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Sugar plus 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Water

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Halve eggplants lengthwise and score flesh 1/2 inch deep in a crosshatch pattern to make 1-inch squares (do not cut through skin).

Arrange eggplant halves, cut sides up, in a large roasting pan and season with salt.

Cook onions in 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in tomatoes, parsley, basil, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons sugar, and salt.

Divide topping among eggplant halves, mounding in centers.

Stir together water, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and remaining tablespoon sugar until sugar is dissolved, then add to roasting pan.

Cover pan tightly with foil and bake in middle of oven, 45 minutes, basting eggplants every 15 minutes with cooking liquid.

Uncover and bake until eggplants are tender (they will collapse and flatten slightly) and cooking liquid is reduced and begins to caramelize, about 40 minutes more.

Serve hot or at room temperature, drizzled with pan juices.

Braised eggplant may be made 1 day ahead, then cooled completely before being chilled, covered.

Bring to room temperature before serving.