Tag Archives: eggplant

Ricotta, Eggplant & Mushroom Paninis

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. It is flavorful, rich and versatile, providing an excellent base for all sorts of main dishes. The large purplish black veggie isn’t available in winter, though, so I had been missing it. So, when I found a container of grilled eggplant buried in our freezer from the summer, I was sooo excited to use it! A taste of summer in these dreary months was a welcome treat. Combined with some crusty bread, creamy ricotta, earthy mushrooms and zesty microgreens, these paninis are a great way to enjoy a variety of flavors and textures.

Ricotta, Eggplant & Mushroom Paninis

Ingredients:
No ingredient amounts here! It’s a sandwich, you can figure out what proportions you’d like!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Cut wheat bread into thick slices, and brush or spray outside of slices with olive oil. (I got to use our new oil mister here!)
  2. Spread ricotta cheese on inside of bread.
  3. Slice mushrooms.
  4. Layer eggplant and mushroom slices over ricotta.
  5. Top with microgreens or basil.
  6. Add mozzerella, if using.
  7. Grill sandwich on panini press for 3-4 minutes, or cook in skillet for about 3 minutes per side.
  8. Serve hot!
Ricotta, Eggplant & Mushroom Panini

Ricotta, Eggplant & Mushroom Panini


No Pasta Lasagna—It’s What’s for Dinner!

Whether you are trying to cut down on carbs, eat more veggies, change up the standard lasagna or are simply out of lasagna noodles, this recipe is for you! In a lighter twist on hearty classic lasagna, I substituted zucchini and eggplant slices for noodles and layered them with a fresh tomato sauce. It’s a rich taste of summer. I am pretty sure this would hold up in a slow cooker, too!

No Pasta Lasagna

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Thinly slice eggplant and zucchini the long way. Sprinkle both sides of each slice with salt and set on paper towels to rest.
  3. Chop onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes.
  4. Sautée onion and garlic over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add pepper, sautée 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and red wine.
  7. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

    Tomatoes Simmering

    Tomato Sauce Simmering

  8. Meanwhile, chop basil and oregano and mix with ricotta cheese in small bowl.
  9. Add egg to ricotta cheese mixture, stir until smooth.
  10. Spread 3/4 c. sauce over bottom of 9×13″ baking dish.
  11. Evenly place zucchini and eggplant slices over sauce.
  12. Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over vegetable slices.

    Assembling the Lasagna

    Assembling the Lasagna

  13. Top with 3/4 c. sauce.
  14. Repeat layers until all components are used up, ending with sauce on top.
  15. Slice cheese and place evenly over top.
  16. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is browned on top.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

    A twist on the traditional!

    A twist on the traditional!


Girls’ Night Gnoshing: Italian Roasted Veggie Dip

Each Wednesday a group of my friends and I get together for a night of testosterone-free hanging out. Sometimes we head to Roosevelts (if they are not having an obnoxious DJ) for gravy cheese fries & $4 mixed drinks and sometimes we gather at someone’s home for a BYO night. Either way, it’s sure to be a night of laughter, booze and good food.

A couple of weeks ago, girls’ night was going to be at a friend’s home, and I realized I didn’t have anything to bring! A quick survey of the kitchen didn’t turn up any prepared snack food, and I was out of alcohol. All I had were vegetables! I was pretty well stocked on eggplant, so I thought of making baba ganoush, but I didn’t have any tahini on hand. So, I pulled out what I could find and figured if my friends didn’t like it, we just wouldn’t eat it. Well, all of it was gone by the end of the evening, so I take that as a good sign. Bring this Italian dip with you next time you need an easy snack and you’ll be all set!

Italian Roasted Veggie Dip

Ingredients:

[My husband was kind enough to roast the veggies for me while I was running errands, so I don’t have a picture of everything raw.]

Simple ingredients for a complex-tasting dip.

Simple ingredients for a complex-tasting dip.

  • 1 large eggplant (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 1 large onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 1 large tomato (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 2 cloves garlic (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 12-15 fresh basil leaves (our garden)
  • 4 sprigs oregano (our garden)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 T. lemon juice (I didn’t have any, so my dip darkened a bit, but was still tasty)

Directions:

  1. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and sprinkle with salt. Let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Cut onion into thick slices.
  3. Cut tomato in half.
  4. Place veggies cut side down on cookie sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until eggplant is soft. Let cool enough to handle.
  5. Meanwhile, chop garlic in food processor.
  6. Add basil and oregano to food processor, pulse until finely chopped.
  7. Scrape pulp out of eggplant skins and add to food processor.
  8. Add tomato and onion to food processor.
  9. Process until smooth.
  10. Slowly add olive oil while processor is running until dip is desired consistency.
  11. Let sit at least 1 hour before serving with crackers, toasts or pita chips.
Italian Roasted Veggie Dip

Italian Roasted Veggie Dip


What’s for Dinner?

Can you figure out what I made for a weekend dinner based on these local ingredients? Check back for the recipe on Friday and see if you were right!

Ingredients

eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, green pepper, onion, garlic, cheese (this is garlic herb jack), ricotta

Ingredients 2

Last minute additions: red wine, egg


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