Nom Nom…tomatoes and eggplant

Found another recipe recently that I had to try from Food & WineMarinated Eggplant and Tomato Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella.  What sounded unique about it is that the eggplant is never cooked, it just marinates for a heck of a long time.  Hey, think about it as veggie ceviche, right?

Ingredients

1 pound small or medium Italian eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick, slices scored on both sides at 1/4-inch intervals — I just picked up the first eggplant I saw
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 basil sprigs, plus basil leaves for garnish
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 ounces buffalo mozzarella, coarsely torn or chopped (I used a goat gouda)

Directions
-In a colander set over a large bowl, toss the eggplant slices with 1 1/2 teaspoons 
of salt. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, tossing occasionally. — I actually let that sit for a few hours while I was out

-Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, basil sprigs, oregano and crushed red pepper; season lightly with salt and black pepper.

-Squeeze all of the water from the eggplants and pat dry. Chop into bite-size pieces. Add to the marinade and let stand for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. — then once this was done I put it in the fridge overnight — was REALLY glad I actually read this recipe thoroughly several times

-Add the tomatoes to the eggplant mixture and toss to coat; discard the basil sprigs and garlic. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the mozzarella and basil leaves.

Make Ahead
The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

This was pretty good, quite unique. It also looks quite Chrismas-y.  I think it got even better the next day.  And actually, the next day, used it more as a bruschetta and also tossed it in salad. Can’t complain!

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From Green Peas to Red Wine

I am the type of kitchen person who does not like to waste anything/throw it away. I won’t keep and keep, then keep and keep things forever in an attempt to use them, past their pull dates or until they’ve grown various levels of fuzz, etc. just to attempt to use them — that would qualify me for Hoarders (SO not going there) — but aim to make the most of my money.

So, from Supper Club on Sunday, I had leftover fresh mint.  As I’m typing this, I realize I could have saved cooking and just made Mojitos, darn…next time.  Anyway, one of my favorite quick, and beyond simple, recipes that I found years ago to use mint in is Mint Bruschetta.  What do you need?

IMG_1059 -Food Processor
-Frozen Peas (thawed — I defrost them quickly in the microwave)
-Fresh Mint leaves
-A bit of olive oil — maybe 1-3 tsp
-Sometimes, to taste, I add garlic and lemon juice

 

Just throw all of it in the food processor and blend to desired  consistency.  Season to taste.  How much easier could it get???

 

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End result? Green mush, right?  But GOOD green mush.

 

 

 

IMG_1067Then, after making this delicious mush, had to enjoy some wine.  Went to my wine rack and found a bottle.  I saw my scribble of $8 on the back of the bottle.  That works.  OH MY GOD, what am I drinking?  Smokey, deep, heavenly bliss.  Do peas merit this, does this merit peas?  Well, the only thing that matters is that I deserve both.  What am I enjoying?  Calina Carménère.  For only eight bucks, AMAZING.  Check it out!