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LATE SUMMER: Recipe for tangy tomato-eggplant crostini

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Want to get the most out of your late summer tomatoes and eggplants? Try the simple two-step prep we use for these easy crostini.

We start by salting and draining the eggplants and tomatoes. This removes excess water, which not only makes for a meatier texture, it also concentrates the flavours. After the draining, the vegetables are roasted, which caramelizes their natural sugars, further deepening the flavours. The result is incredibly rich and naturally sweet. The whole thing gets tied together with a sweet-tangy balsamic glaze and bit of salty Parmesan.

If the rest of your dinner is being cooked on the grill, you could skip the oven step and roast the vegetables on there. Prepare them according to the recipe, but set the baking sheet over the cooler side of the grill (turn down one or more of the burners, as needed). And this same topping also would be delicious over pasta, or even spooned onto a burger.

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TANGY TOMATO-EGGPLANT CROSTINI

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

2 large yellow onions, quartered and sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

2 small eggplants, diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Toasted, sliced French bread

Balsamic glaze, to serve

Ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese, to serve

Watercress, to serve

Heat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onions with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, stirring regularly until caramelized, 18 to 20 minutes. If the onions begin to stick, add a teaspoon or 2 of water.

Meanwhile, in a mesh strainer over the sink or a bowl, combine the eggplants and tomatoes. Sprinkle in several hefty pinches of salt, then toss lightly. Allow to sit for 15 minutes to drain excess liquid. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender and browned.

In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, tomatoes and caramelized onions. Spoon the mixture onto slices of toasted French bread, then drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with some of the Parmesan cheese and watercress. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories; 35 calories from fat (18 per cent of total calories); 4 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 7 g protein; 580 mg sodium.

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