Recipes

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grillin' = Eggplant + Tomato + Goat Cheese

During the summer heat, most of our meals around here consist of some type of protein and some vegetable…on the grill.  We have an AC in our house, but when its really hot, and that has been most of the time around here, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking indoors.

Luckily, I think most everything tastes amazing fresh off the grill so I’m not complaining. 

The dilemma I’m usually faced with is what seasonings to use to make tonight's dinner different from last nights. 

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Fish is super easy when you grill it in foil!  This was a pieces of wild Alaskan salmon with lemon, capers, and herbs.

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But generally we just check out what meats/fish are on sale and go from there.  However we just started a meat CSA share from Chestnut Farms which I’m psyched about and will let you know more as we work our way through our first month’s share. 

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Anyways, so one day I was browsing through Anthropologie and saw this cookbook!  07-05-12

I think Anthro is one of my favorite places to find awesome cookbooks.  They don’t have many but they are all usually pretty good!

This book, The Gardner & The Grill is packed with recipes for the grill using all sorts of veggies, meats, fruits, and even sandwiches and flatbreads.

The first recipe I made was for a grilled Eggplant with Grilled Marinara Sauce!  I had an eggplant that needed to be used, so this was perfect and so easy.  IMG_4797

I’ve never been a huge eggplant fan, but I love it when it’s prepared so its cooked really well so it gets buttery and soft.  Even better with a nice grill flavor.

Because of this, I make sure to prep my eggplant to remove the bitterness and extra moisture…Eggplant will suck up any liquid or oil like a sponge!

I don’t remember exactly where I got this tip, but this is what I do:

Eggplant Prep!

  • slice eggplant in thin slices
  • arrange on a baking sheet
  • sprinkle both sides with a little salt
  • cover with paper towels
  • place another pan w/heavy object on top
  • let sit for at least 30 min.

I let mine sit for longer actually, until I’m ready to use it.  The salt brings the water to the surface so the paper towels can soak it up.  This also removes some of the bitterness. IMG_4801

Now:

  • Heat one side of your grill to medium/med-high
  • brush the eggplant with olive oil
  • Chop 2-3 large tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of basil, rough chopped
  • salt + pepper

Make a faux pan out of aluminum foil and put in it the tomatoes, garlic, basil, drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt + pepper. IMG_4802

  • Grill eggplant slices over direct heat, and place pan of tomato mixture on indirect side.
  • Cook eggplant for 4-5 min per side, or until soft and it has good grill marks (watch thin pieces as they will burn fast).
  • Meanwhile stir tomatoes a couple times.
  • Once eggplant is done, remove everything from heat and arrange eggplant on a platter.
  • Top with tomatoes and crumbled fresh goat cheese.

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This was fantastic!  Even Brian who didn’t think he really liked eggplant, loved this as well.  In fact I’ve been buying more and more eggplants lately and can’t wait to make this again.

This was super simple and would make a great side dish for a party or bbq. 

6 comments:

  1. Seriously, grilled eggplant is sooooo good! I bet it paired just perfectly with that goat cheese and tomato . Yum yum. We still haven't joined the CSA- I want to!

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  2. FunandFearlessinBeantownJuly 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    We have been having very similar meals this summer.  I love summer grilling!

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  3. I have that book and love all the veggie ideas in there. I know I'll use it even more when I have a garden. This dish looks great!

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  4. grilled eggplant is pretty delicious...  and adding goat cheese never hurts :)

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  5. Anthro really does have fabulous cookbooks- I always discover new ones there! This eggplant salad looks so fabulous!

    Sues

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  6. Yum, this is definitely the perfect summer side dish - love all the ingredients!

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