This is a show-stopper. The eggplant is rich and savory from the ajwain and fennel. And the cherries add a sweet, fresh brightness.
makes 6-8 pieces
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Slice the eggplant ¾ inches thick and salt each side generously. Set aside for the salt to absorb for 10-20 minutes. Drain and gently squeeze the water out of the eggplant.
- Toss the eggplant slices with olive oil, ajwain and black pepper. Lay on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake the eggplant for 10-12 minutes making sure both sides have a nice golden brown color. Turn the temperature down to 350 F and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked through yet holds its shape.
- Crumble or slice the cheese on the roasted eggplant, sprinkle the fennel on top and place 2-3 pieces of sliced cherries on the cheese and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has softened.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the herbs or sprouts and place the lime wedges around the eggplant just before serving.
ideas / variations
- For a vegan option, omit the cheese.
- Substitute cherries for mango or peaches or add crushed nuts like pistachios or pine nuts.
- To give the eggplant more heat, add sliced serranos or sprinkle red chili powder.