Fennel Baked Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that acts as a sponge and absorbs any flavor cooked with it. Fennel tastes a bit like licorice, and when you roast it, it develops a natural sweetness that is absorbed into the eggplant. The lemon juices adds a bit of freshness at the end. Serve with warm bread.

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3 Chinese eggplants
2 large garlic pieces, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drizzle half the oil on the bottom of a 12” x 9” oven-safe baking dish. Cut off the ends of the eggplant and then cut the eggplant in half. Slice each half into three pieces. Layer with enough pieces to cover the bottom of the baking dish (approximately 1 1/2 eggplants). Sprinkle with half the salt. Add the sliced onion and garlic and sprinkle with the fennel seeds. Cover with the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with remaining salt. Drizzle the remaining oil over the eggplants.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Half way through the cooking time, toss the eggplants and onions. When cooked add the lemon juice and toss. Serve warm.

Serves 2 to 4.

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