Archive | July, 2012

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

18 Jul

It has been so hot lately that I don’t feel like cooking or eating anything hot. The exception to that is grilling. I love grilling and getting a tan at the same time. 🙂 I pretty much love grilling in any weather, rain included. It just makes me happy to grill. Now there is a completely different taste when food is grilled on a charcoal grill. Once I was introduced to charcoal I decided then and there I would never go back. I love the smokey flavor!

Now I have been told that raw eggplant is poisonous. I am not sure how true that is but I don’t like the flavor anyways. So, make sure your eggplant is cooked thoroughly just in case.

Here is my Grilled Eggplant sandwich recipe that I promised.

1 medium-sized eggplant can serve 6 easily.

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant

salt & pepper

olive oil

garlic powder

sliced sharp cheddar

sliced tomatoes

basil leaves

pesto

Cut eggplant  into 1/2 inch slices. Lay out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder on both sides and let rest while you are heating up the grill and preparing the rest of dinner. Slice cheese and tomatoes.

I used fresh bread that I had made so I cut that up too. I cut one piece per person to make an open-faced sandwich.

Grill the eggplant about 5 min on one side or until you have nice grill marks and it looks cooked about halfway. The time will vary depending on how hot your grill is or if you are using gas.

Flip eggplant and place the cheese on top while still on the grill to get it nice and melty. Cook about 5 minutes longer. You want to make sure it is all the way cooked or else it will be too crunchy and the flavor will be off.

After you take the eggplant off the grill place the bread slices on the grill just till toasty.

To assemble the sandwich I spread the pesto on the bread added the eggplant, the tomatoes, sprinkled some salt on the tomato and then topped with a couple basil leaves. It was delicious. This is something you can add all sorts of things to. You could grill some peppers and onions and make an awesome veggie sandwich.

 

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What Do I Do With All This Eggplant?

13 Jul

Does eggplant seem to stump you? Do you look at it and wonder what to do with this weird spongy vegetable besides eggplant parmesan? It definitely stumped me. Until last year, I didn’t think anyone really uses eggplant for much of anything. Boy was I wrong.

If I didn’t live on a farm where there is so much eggplant and you get so tired of eating the same ol’ same ol’; but there is so much of it you have to come up with some new recipes or else you might just die I might not have discovered the wonder of eggplant. Although at the end of last summer I was so sick of eggplant that I didn’t want to see it again for a year. Well, guess what? Eggplant has made its debut again this year! It is back! Now I am excited! I am a little more prepared for it.  Below I will give you a few ideas on what I like to do with it. If one of them sounds good to you and want a recipe for it please leave a comment and let me know what recipe you would like to have and I would love to do a post on that.

Eggplant hash.

Eggplant pizza

sautéed eggplant for a salad topper

Grilled eggplant sandwhich

Eggplant canollis

Oven roasted eggplant

and of course you can’t leave out the  Eggplant Parmesan

Here are some pictures of the garden taken with my Iphone 4s.

So go get eggplant happy!

Pesto

3 Jul

If you know me you know that I am in love with basil pesto. Why I haven’t posted a pesto recipe yet is beyond me. If you have never had pesto you are in for a treat! I use pesto like some people use ketchup. I put in in my eggs, I put it on my pasta, I put it on my pizza, I put it on my sandwiches, I put it on my chicken, I put it on my croutons, I put it on my baked potatoes, and I put it on my hotdogs. Ok, not really on my hotdogs, though it might be great!

Anyway, homemade pesto is a staple in my kitchen. I love it! This time of year basil is abundant! If you are not growing it you should be able to find loads at your local farmers market.

Most people use pine nuts in their pesto but walnuts work just as well. I use whatever I have on hand.

Remember, I like garlic. If you are not a garlic freak start out with 3 cloves. You can always add more.

Basil Pesto

2 packed cups of basil leaves

1/3 cup of pine nuts or walnuts

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2-3/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Add basil, nuts, and garlic to food processor and pulse till coarsely chopped. (If using whole walnuts pulse in food processor a few times before adding the basil.) Next while food processor is running, slowly pour olive oil in a steady stream into the basil mixture. Add as much oil till you get desired consistency. I like mine thick for some things and thinner for other things. Add the cheese and pulse a few more times. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Note: pesto freezes great! Just omit the cheese and add before serving. When I worked for Felicia Suzanne’s restaurant we used to freeze the pesto in little 2 cup containers. I still do that to this day. I know some people use ice trays but I think that takes a lot of extra work.

I will post a pictures soon!