Eggplant and Tomato Salad
(serves 6 as a side dish)
Cut:
1 medium eggplant
in half, rub inside and out with olive oil, and sprinkle a little kosher salt over the inside faces.  Place face down in a glass dish and bake at 350 until soft, about 20-30 minutes.  Scrape the eggplant into a bowl, and include the juice from the bottom of the pan, making sure the whole thing doesn't get too salty.  Chill.
 
Stir in:
1  large tomato, cut into bite-size chunks
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 T fresh basil, chopped 
1 balsamic vinegar
  white pepper, to taste
     
Serve at room temperature or chilled. 
Notes & Variations:
  1. Use the long, dark-skinned Japanese eggplants, for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Try using fresh oregano or thyme instead of basil.
  3. For a more complex flavor, try using fresh lemon juice and a few chopped capers instead of the vinegar.