Posts Tagged ‘eggplant’
I LOVE Halloween. Dressing up, fun parties, excuse to eat waayyy too much chocolate without second glaces from co-workers. It all adds up to one of my favorite nights of the year. We are hosting a party at our house and I spent most of the weekend cleaning, prepping and decorating with spiders, skulls, & candles. We also finally decided on our halloween costumes and will be going as my favorite Mad Men couple, Don and Megan Draper. Spending the night in a funky wig, fishnets, and 60′s dress? Don’t mind if I do!
I came up with this pasta as I was decorating the house in orange and black. I wanted my dinner to match the decor and this pasta came out perfect! I will definitely be making this again on October 31st. Doesn’t it just scream Halloween?
1 large butternut squash, cubed
1 large globe eggplant, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 lb. Penne pasta
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash and eggplant with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Pour entire mixture on a roasting pan and bake for 60 minutes. Vegetables should be slightly crispy/caramelized on the outside and cooked through.
While vegetables are in the oven, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne pasta until al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta water and noodles. Set aside.
Remove vegetables from oven. Reserve 2 cups of vegetables. Place the rest of the vegetables into a blender with 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and nutritional yeast. Puree until smooth, adding enough water to make a sauce.
Pour over cooked penne noodles and reserved vegetables.
Enjoy! What are your plans for Halloween?
This is one of those recipes where I contemplate the actual need to post. It’s a pretty basic vegetarian sandwich: spread, tofu, and grilled vegetables on a hearty bun. Nothing too out of the ordinary but the simplicity and the perfect combination do warrant it’s own page.
I’ve been in quite the sandwich mood lately and needed a reason to use up my still producing basil plant. If your like me, ready for fall but not ready to give up summer favorites like eggplant, tomatoes, and basil you must try this sandwich. I made a bunch of the ingredients and packed them for work last week. Whenever cravings or mealtime struck, I was able to quickly assemble a gourmet sandwich in a matter of minutes.
Creamy Basil & Eggplant Sandwiches
Ingredients: (make 4 sandwiches)
4 whole wheat hoagie rolls
1 globe (Italian) eggplant, sliced 1/4-1/2″ thick
1 tomato, sliced
1 package extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. cup olive oil
1 tbsp. all purpose seasoning (Like 21 Salute)
1 cup basil, packed
1/4 cup mayo (Veganaise is the best!)
To make the basil spread: finely chop the basil leaves. Combine with mayo and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside. Alternatively, you can combine the basil, mayo, and lemon juice in a food processor/blender.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Combine the all-purpose seasoning, pinch salt, and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a small dish. Brush the eggplant slices with the olive oil mixture and place in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes each side until translucent on the inside and lightly crisp on the edges.
Squeeze the water out of the tofu and slice into 1/2″ slices. Combine the juice of the other lemon, olive oil, and pinch salt/pepper. Place the tofu in a baking sheet and cover with lemon marinade. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread the basil sauce on either side of the hoagie roll. Layer with eggplant, tofu, tomato slices.
What’s your favorite type of sandwich?
I can’t get enough of eggplant these days. Miso eggplant, eggplant with Thai basil, eggplant-parm sandwiches. It’s one of my favorite late summer vegetables and is totally worth the wait each year. I admit, I eat produce out of season more than I would like too but eggplant is something I refuse to eat unless I can get it at the farmer’s market. If you’ve written off eggplant, I urge you to try it again this summer while it is still in season.
I recently had a similar version of this dish at Michelangelos, one of our favorte restaurants in Sacramento. It is my go-to dish there and I wanted to recreate it at home. Their version uses cheese in the layers but I wanted to make it healthier and lower-fat, using ricotta cheese in place.
I have been making this for the last few weeks. Each time I do, I tweak it a bit more but it always comes out delicious.
Eggplant Pesto Stack
1 globe (Italian) Eggplant, sliced
1 recipe, herbed ricotta (see below)
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup prepared pesto
2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
1 pound firm tofu, pressed
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp. white miso
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
small handful chopped oregano , or 1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the eggplant into 1/4″-1/2″ slices. Dip in Italian dressing and then press into the breadcrumbs. You want the slices of eggplant to be well covered in a thin layer of crumbs. Place on a baking sheet and continue to bread the rest of the eggplant. Bake for 15 minutes each side until cooked through and golden brown.
Prepare the tofu ricotta. Alternatively, for a non-vegan version, you could use slices of Mozzarella cheese or your favorite cheese. In a food processor combine the ingredients for the tofu ricotta and pulse until everything is combined and mixture is smooth.
To prepare the stacks, place one piece of eggplant on a plate. Top with a spoonful of tofu mixture, and another slice of eggplant. Continue with tofu, eggplant, tofu and a final piece of eggplant. Cover with warmed marinara sauce and dollop pesto.
What restaurant meals have you recreated?
I spent the better part of Sunday canning peach salsa for the fall (watch for that recipe soon). Sunday night dinners usually involve a little more work, but I was looking for simple and nourshing after spending the morning cooking. This was perfect paired with some miso soup and greens. It’s also delicious stuffed into a wrap, as I did for lunch on Monday. The color isn’t very beautiful, but it IS eggplant. Trust me, one bite and you’ll be hooked.
Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread
4 Japanese eggplants or 2 globe eggplants
1 serrano chili pepper, minced.
7 kalamata olives, drained
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 red peppers
salt and pepper to taste
small handful parsley, minced for garnish
Roast the eggplant and red peppers over a grill or broiler until skin is charred. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins and finely dice. Add 1/2 of the mixture to a bowl and combine with the olive oil, vinegar, Serrano chili, salt, and pepper. Chunky puree the remaining 1/2 of the eggplant and red pepper mixture, walnuts and olives. Combine with the other dip and mix well. Best served at room temperature.
What are your favorite fall appetizers?