This appetizer or side dish, melanzana in teglia, can be served hot or cold.
4 medium eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil,
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325°. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal incisions 1/2-inch apart in the eggplant, reaching all the way down to the skin but not cutting through it. Sprinkle generously with salt, including inside the incisions. Place a clean dish towel or a few layers of paper towel on a baking sheet, and place the eggplant halves cut side down. Set aside for 2 hours to drain, and pat dry.
In a bowl, combine the garlic, basil, parsley, tomatoes and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Pack this mixture evenly into the incisions of the eggplant, and spread the remaining mixture over the top. Place the stuffed eggplant halves cut side up in an oiled baking dish, season with pepper, and bake for 35 minutes, or until soft. Serves 8.