Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes Salad with Cannelinni Beans


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1 large or 2 small eggplants
2 pounds tomatoes
1/2 garlic bulb, halved vertically, top trimmed but cloves left unseparated
2 red chiles
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper
1 cup dried cannelini beans, cooked or 1 can (14 ounces)
generours pinch saffron threads
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
1 heaped tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1. Preheat the over to 325 degree F. Cut the eggplant into 2 inch thick slices; quarter the slices, cut a cone from the top of each tomato to remove the core. Cut the tomatoes in half or quarter if large.

2. Arrange the eggplant pieces, tomatoes, garlic, and chiles in a roasting pan. Drizzle the honey and olive oil over, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1.5 hours, basting occasionally.

3. Remove and discard the chiles. Squeeze the garlic from skin back into the vegetables. Spoon the vegetables into a serving dish, leaving the juices in the pan. Plunge the cannellini beans into boiling water until hot; drain and pat dry. Add the beans to the vegetables and stir well.

4. Grind the saffron in a mortar, then blend with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Add to the roasting pan with the vinegar and stir until blended. Season to taste. Pour over the vegetables and beans. Scatter the aprsley over and serve warm.