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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Eggplant and More Eggplant

We've got two eggplant plants and keep getting them from the csa. I've made ratatouille, fried eggplant, grilled eggplant... So, it was time to come up with something totally different. Eggplant and pasta. Thus was born Eggplant a la Medici.

Two small or one large eggplant, cubed. Do not peel them.
3 Tbs olive oil
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 tin flat anchovies
9 small tomatoes (roma works)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 Tbs. capers
1/2 ricotta cheese
1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 pound penne, cooked

Halve the tomatoes. Put them in a baking dish cut side up. Sprinkle with the sugar. Roast at 450 for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool and peel. Saute the eggplant in the olive oil. When it's close to done, add the garlic and the anchovies. Stir until the anchovies melt. Add the roasted tomatoes, olives, capers, chicken and ricotta. Serve tossed with penne and topped with fresh basil.

One of the other new and different ways I've cooked eggplant is involtini. Also known as rollatini. It's pretty easy and looks fabulous. And, yes, tastes as good as it looks. The measurements will depend on the size of the eggplant and how thinly you slice it.

One medium eggplant, sliced thinly lengthwise
olive oil
2 eggs
finely shredded parmesan or romano
shredded mozzarella
tin of anchovies
jar of good pasta sauce (Rao's is my favorite), heated through.

Dip the eggplant slices in egg then in a mixture of panko and parmesan. Saute in olive oil. Blot with paper towels. Lay the slices out and sprinkle mozzarella on them - about 1-2 Tbs per slice. Top with an anchovy filet. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Put the involtini in a baking dish and bake at 350 until the mozzarella melts. Serve on a puddle of pasta sauce.

Tomorrow we're having another new eggplant dish. I sent Connie to the basement to check for things we need to finish up. Red bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash. And, of course, eggplant. Oh, yes, a ton of tomatoes. I've made a stuffing for the peppers...

Eggplant & Lamb Stuffed Peppers
4 red bell peppers
2 ground lamb patties
1/2 cup brown rice
3 large tomatoes
1 medium eggplant
1 Tbs. olive oil

Hollow out the bell peppers and set aside. Crumble the lamb patties. Brown and drain the meat. Cook and drain the brown rice. Peel and cube the tomatoes. Cube the eggplant. Saute the eggplant in olive oil. When it's close to being done, pour in the tomatoes and cook until the juice has practically cooked away. Mix lamb, rice, eggplant and tomato. Stuff into the peppers.

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