10 September 2010

Eggplant. Scorpacciata. GodBlessYou. Good Food Gatherings (Menus #18-#20)

Scorpacciata.

Don’t get offended – we didn’t just invoke some old Sicilian curse.  As we learned from friends at Eatocracy – and as Chef Mario spoke of today on CNN - scorpacciata refers to consuming large amounts of a particular local ingredient while it's in season. (Jill Billante, Scorpacciata – Farm Stands, Eatocracy). 

A great term that resonates well within the context of our good food gatherings.

In the spirit of scorpacciata, we’ve been enjoying the late summer bumper crop of eggplant.  It’s been a reminder of how many different cuisines use eggplant as an appetizer, a side, and a main course. 

Thanks to this seasonal abundance, we’re focusing an entire Good Food Gathering on this incredibly versatile vegetable and featuring recipe RAVES from these favorite foodie resources: aglio, olio & peperoncino, Ashbury’s Aubergines, EatingWell, Fine Cooking, Organic Authority, Sassy Radish, and ThaiTable.com.

AND, because we're overwhelmed with abundance, we're offering these ideas for you to mix and match into whatever combination of menus best suits your entertaining style and tastes ;-)

Starters
Baba Ganouj  (EatingWell)

Eggplant Caviar (Sassy Radish)

Ratatouille (The Savvy Host, recipe below)

Ratatouille
(serves 8-10 as appetizer)
1 (12 to 14-ounce) eggplant, cut into ½  inch cubes
2 zucchini, cut into ½  inch cubes
2 yellow squash , cut into ½  inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup nicoise olives (optional)
½ cup toasted pine nuts
3 TB olive oil
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 TB chopped fresh basil – or marjoram – or oregano – or 1 TB dried Herbs de Provence.
Garnish – balsamic glaze, crumbled feta cheese or ricotta salata or shredded parmigiano, additional herbs

Place eggplant, zucchini, squash, red bell pepper and onion on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Broil or grill on high heat for 3-4 minutes each side, turning once lightly browned.  Peppers and onions may take a little longer.  Remove from heat and set aside

In large sauté pan, add olive oil and garlic and pine nuts.  Cook over medium heat until fragrant. Do not brown. Add grilled/broiled vegetables to sauté pan.  Add olives.  Add herbs.  Add broth and simmer until fully absorbed.

Transfer to serving serving dish, sprinkle with herbs or cheese according to your preference.  We like to garnish with balsamic syrup for a hint of sweetness.  Serve with flatbread, na’an or ciabatta. and sprinkle top with cheese.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Sides

Thai Basil Eggplant (Pud Makua Yow)  (ThaiTable.com)
Marinated Vegetable Kabobs (adapted from Ashbury’s Aubergines)
Serves: 4-6
1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
8 medium cremini or button mushrooms
2 to 4 onions (we like sweet)
1/4 cup balsamic, sherry or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon spicy country Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon paprika - sweet
2 or more cloves garlic minced (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Wash, seed peppers, and cut the vegetables into chunks (about 1 inch thick). Place into a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper and whisk together. Pour over the vegetables and mix ingredients to ensure each piece is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Thread the vegetables onto metal skewers. Reserve the marinade to baste kabobs. Place the skewers on a medium hot grill cook 10-15 minutes. Baste the cooking kabobs with the marinade periodically during the cooking. Turn when slightly charred and continue cooking and basting for another 6-8 minutes.  

Option to serve over rice, quinoa, or couscous.

Main
Melanzane alla Parmigiano (aka Eggplant Parmesan) (aglio, olio & peperoncino)

Egglant Parmesan Soup (Organic Authority)


Mediterranean Baked Penne  (EatingWell)

2 comments:

lobstersandwich said...

You have created an amazing site. Every chance I get I will be back to visit. Regular commitments keep taking away from my blog and twitter time, but I'm there whenever I can. Thank you so much for the lovely Twitter shout yesterday.
Cheers
SAUCY

Eleonora said...

I am completely and utterly overwhelmed by this awesome post!! Thank you for the link-up and for this GREAT IDEA! A monograph theme is genius.

Ciao and grazie,
Eleonora Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino

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