Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eggplant "Bruschetta" Sans Bread

This post is for everyone south of the border or living in a temperate climate where it still feels like summer on a good day and spring on a "cool" day. I have been meaning to give Deb of Smitten Kitchen's recipe a try ever since I can across it. And as usual, she does not disappoint!

While her version called for fresh tomatoes, these beauties from a post by Eve of Garden of Eating were waiting to be devoured. Substituting them was a stroke of creative invention. I loved how the sweetness and chewiness of the roasted tomatoes paired with the briny capers and red wine vinegar.  You could easily leave out the ricotta salata to make it vegan - there is such an abundance of flavor that you won't miss it.

I bought small eggplants so that the rounds would not be too big. Keeping the skin on keeps the juices intact so that when you bite into these delicious morsels, you simultaneously taste creamy eggplant, crisp exterior and an explosion of Mediterranean flavors in a single bite. Japanese eggplant would probably work really well too, but be prepared to make extra, these are strangely addictive!

Eggplant "Bruschetta" Sans Bread (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

3 baby eggplant (or 1 large) about 1 lb
20 Slow Oven Roasted Tomatoes
1 tablespoons capers, minced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1/3 cup oil cured black olives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
black pepper
2 tablespoons ricotta salata, crumbled (Optional)
olive oil to grease baking sheet or use oil spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tops and bottoms off of eggplant(s) and slice into 1 inch rounds. Spray or oil baking sheet and lay eggplant on sheet, and salt and pepper eggplant. Bake for 12-14 minutes until bottoms are browned; flip and salt and pepper and spray with oil and bake another 8 minutes until crisp. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in bowl and mash well. Adjust for salt and pepper (if using ricotta salata, it is salty, to be careful). Spoon on top of baked eggplant and eat immediately.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Light Tomato Coconut Soup at ECurry!
Poblano Mac and Cheese at Nutmeg Nanny
Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar at Smitten Kitchen

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