Thursday, May 2, 2013

First Harvest: Roasted Eggplant, Squash & Tomato Salad

It's only May 2nd, and yet I harvested two beautiful Japanese eggplants from my garden.  This particular plant sprouted of its own volition from last year's harvest, and so it's light years ahead of the plants I put in a few weeks ago.  Herbs also lasted through the winter, or popped through as soon as it warmed up, so I plucked some sage too.

Never having been a patient woman, I hit Google immediately in search of recipes.  I found several that appealed to me, both for the idea of them, but also because I mostly had the ingredients at hand.

In the end, though, the assorted ingredients in my refrigerator suggested their own outcome.  Yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, arugula, tomatoes.  Roasting appealed to me because grilling or frying eggplant is a mess - a delicious mess and I do it sometimes, but not today.  Very simple - and - it got the thumbs up from Tony, especially the 'shrooms.

Roasted Eggplant, Squash & Tomato Salad

2 Japanese or one "regular" eggplant
1 yellow summer squash
1 medium onion, any color
8oz tub of fresh mushrooms - I prefer crimini
6 cloves of garlic
6 small or Roma tomatoes, or maybe 3 times that many cherry tomatoes
Handful of fresh torn or teaspoon of dried sage
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
                                          salt and pepper mill pepper to taste

1/4 c of pine nuts
2 c arugula
3 oz soft goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Slice the eggplant and the squash into medallions about half an inch thick.  Cut the onion into 6 to 8 wedges.  Slice the 'shrooms in half.  Get the garlic cloves out of their skins.  Throw all these veggies except the tomatoes because they're probably too fragile into a bowl and toss until coated with the olive oil, the salt and pepper and the sage. If you're a garlic hound, add the garlic powder.  Cut the tomatoes in half, unless they're big ones, and in that case, cut them into very thick slices.

Find a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, dump in all the coated vegetable pieces and spread them out across the dish.  Add the tomatoes in a bit more carefully.  Roast the vegetables for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Slightly under-cooked is far better than over-cooking them.  The high heat will continue to work through the flesh even after you pull the veggies out of the oven.

On salad plates, spread some arugula.  Scoop some of the veggie medley on top of the arugula, crumble goat cheese liberally, and then scatter a few pine nuts for show.  Voila!  Serves two as a main course, with left-overs, or five or six as a side dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment