Charlie’s school semester just started up again, and his courses are not only a bit more serious (he’s loading up on sociology and social work classes in anticipation of getting an MSW after his undergrad), but he’s got more evening classes than usual and he’s getting home a lot later at night. Our epic dinner preparations are one thing when we’re getting started early in the evening, but it’s another thing when he doesn’t get home until 9, 10, or even 11 o’clock at night because of the bus schedules.
Wednesday night, I wanted to prepare something yummy, filling, and relatively healthy for dinner, but I also didn’t want a lot of fuss. Our farm share for the week had included some fresh basil, garlic, and some gorgeous tomatoes. Add in an eggplant, some mozzarella, and a multigrain baguette, and I was ready to call it dinner.
This actually made way more food than we could handle and we ended up eating it for lunch today, too, so you’re looking at this serving about 3-4 people.
We decided that this would be a great item to serve to vegetarians at a BBQ, so feel free to toss the eggplants on the grill instead of in the oven.
1 medium eggplant
6-8 oz fresh mozzarella
1 large tomato
1/2-3/4 multigrain baguette
a large handful of fresh basil leaves
1/2 head of garlic, still assembled (for roasting)
balsamic vinaigrette (optional)
baby spinach (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375.
Put down a piece of tin foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Slice the eggplant into thick slices, discarding the top.
Brush a bit of olive oil over both sides of the eggplant, and sprinkle with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Meanwhile, cut the top off the bulb of garlic, exposing about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. Drizzle more olive oil on this, then cover it in tin foil. Find space for it on the tray of eggplant.
Bake the eggplant the oven for about 25 minutes, turning once. The garlic will need to stay in for another ten minutes.
Let that cool. Slice your tomatoes, slice and toast your bread if you want to, and slice your mozzarella.
(Charlie did the actual assembly as I was busy making Nectarine Mini Muffins, but I’ll take a gander at what he did…)
Scoop the roasted garlic out of the head. Spread it on the bread. Lay down, in whatever order you like, the eggplant, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, spinach (optional), and balsamic vinaigrette (optional). Eat a bunch, and save a big hunk in the fridge for tomorrow. The flavors all meld together and it’s even better the next day.