- 4 pounds eggplant, chopped (about 18 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Emeril's Italian Essence
- 3 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped oil-cured black olives
- 2 tablespoons drained capers, plus 1/2 teaspoon caper juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400?F.
- Place the eggplant in a large roasting pan and season with 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss with the extra virgin olive oil. Roast until the eggplant is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian Essence and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
- Once the eggplant and the onion mixture are cool, combine them in a large bowl. Add the olives, capers, caper juice, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and fold in the parsley and basil. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- When ready to serve, let the salad return to room temperature. Just before serving, garnish with additional parsley and basil.