eggplant and fennel salad with warm bacon vinaigrette


cooking spray
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch-thick strips
1 fennel bulb, fronds discarded, cored and thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons for roasting
1 garlic clove, minced
½ plus ¼ teaspoon salt
6 slices center-cut bacon, diced
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 head frisée (curly endive), torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped

Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Put a broiler rack about 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler.
Combine the eggplant, fennel, 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread the eggplant-fennel mixture in a single layer in the pan. Broil until the vegetables are tender, stirring halfway through cooking (about 8 minutes). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the vegetables cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vinegar, the remaining ¼ cup oil, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Combine the frisée, pine nuts, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the warm dressing and toss to coat well. Arrange the frisée mixture on a platter. Top with the eggplant mixture. Sprinkle with the bacon and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve warm.