Tag Archives: eggplant

Snow-Day

It’s the last weekend before Christmas. Original plans included a holiday party this evening, complete with friends from near and far, food, drinks, and a dessert buffet, supplied by my guests.

However, the weather has changed all this. The Northeast is expecting a Noreaster, and even though the snow isn’t coming down too hard just yet, the weatherpeople are starting we can get up to 8-10 inches. Yikes.

I’m not a snow person at all- I commute daily in my car, I hate the cold, etc. And due to the weather, our plans are a bit up in the air. We might have some guests this evening, and a small spread will be prepared.

In anticipation of anywhere from 2 to 20 guests, cleaning is in order. After a good cleaning session, don’t you want something that’ll fill you up? I’ve been craving ratatouille since the beginning of this week. Here is my easy recipe for this filling, healthy meal. Best part is that I could set it to cook while I finished up cleaning the bathroom. Multitasking!

Quick and Easy Ratatouille

1 eggplant, roughly chopped into chunks

1 half of green pepper cut into strips

1 zuchinni, sliced not too thin not to thick

1 onion chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 large can of diced tomatoes, about 16oz.

1 handful of spinach

olive oil, salt & pepper

1. In a medium sized Dutch oven, heat up olive oil. Sautee onion for one minute, add garlic and sautee another 2 minutes until aromatic.

2. Add peppers and zuchinni, sautee with onions and garlic, making sure to coat all the vegetables. Add eggplant and sautee for 2-3 minutes until tender.

3. Add tomatoes, be sure to drain most of the juice as the tomatoes will create a nice broth for the stew. Add dried parsley and season with salt and pepper.

4. Let simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes. Add spinach to pot, cover and let it wilt for about 5 minutes.

I like to eat it topped with fresh mozzarella and a nice chunk of French or Italian bread slathered with butter. So very quick and easy and perfect for this snowy day.

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eggplant puree/melanzana bastardized.

I had this odd craving for…eggplant. I’m not a huge fan of eggplant- its good but something I don’t really make too often. What got me thinking of eggplant was this memory of a PF Chang’s dish- eggplant and ground chicken. Then I thought of eggplant parm. The former’s dish consisted of eggplant half pureed, half intact. Eggplant Parm, of course is pretty familiar.

I looked up recipes, and found out about this Italian preparation of eggplant, referred to as melanzana. The recipe consisted of the eggplant roasted, pureed, with the addition of onion, garlic, vinegrette, salt and pepper. That sounded great, but I in all honesty, I wanted eggplant parm without the mess of frying and something a bit more healthy.

I’ve been a strong vegetarian kick, so this proved to be very filling.

Eggplant Melanzana Parmesan

1 medium eggplant

1/2 onion chopped coarsely

1 large garlic clove

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup of prepared tomato sauce

1-2 cups baby spinach/spinach

mozzerella cheese

olive oil, salt, and pepper

1. Cut eggplant lengthwise and brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 and place a pan in the oven to preheat it, while you’re chopping up your vegetables. When pan is warm, place eggplant flesh down. Cover skin with more olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the flesh is completely cooked. You can tell if the skin pulls completely away from the eggplant.

2. Let eggplant cool. When eggplant is cool enough to handle, spoon out flesh and throw away skins. Add eggplant innards, onion, olive oil, sour cream, and 1-2 tsp of olive oil to a food processor. Puree until lumpy and combined.

3. Add eggplant to saucepan and combine with tomato sauce. Throw in some baby spinach and stir until wilted. Serve with pasta, mozzerella cheese, and fresh basil.

I also added some left over portabella mushrooms that I roasted. You can also omit the sour cream if you want a completely vegan dish. The sour cream adds some creaminess, but isn’t necessary.

om nom nom nom!

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