Todd, who is Lucy and Leo’s Dad, once spent a junior year abroad studying architecture in Florence. Along with useful knowledge for modern home improvements, he picked up this wonderfully simple eggplant recipe. If you prefer to use less olive oil, the eggplant can be broiled or barbecued. Any leftover oil will be delicious with pasta or used for dipping with flatbread, a dish called fettunta.
2 medium eggplants (about 11/2 lb/675 g)
1 tablespoon coarse (kosher) salt
1/2 cup/250 ml olive oil, more if needed
4-5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
½-1 teaspoon crushed chili peppers
1. Wipe the eggplants with damp paper towel and slice them in the thinnest possible rounds, discarding the ends. Spread the rounds on a large sheet pan, sprinkle with coarse salt and leave to draw out the bitter juices, 1-2 hours. Rinse the slices in water in a colander and dry on paper towels for about a half hour.
2. Heat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Brush the sheet pan with olive oil, spread the eggplant on the pan and brush them with olive oil. Bake in the oven until the slices are browned, 15-20 minutes.
3. Transfer the slices to a deep serving platter, sprinkling the layers with thin garlic slices, crushed chili peppers, and fine salt, adding all to your taste.
4. Drizzle over more olive oil to your taste, the eggplant should be quite moist. Cover and leave it for a day at room temperature — the longer it sits, the more savory the eggplant will be.