Roasted Eggplant Soup



It’s the end of the year, time to clean up. Clean out the fridge and my posting draft folder.

A little while back, I couldn’t help but over hear an online friend of mine, Nicole from Pinch My Salt, describe her clean out the fridge soup. Some envy and a few Twitter notes back and forth, left me with the great suggestion of a Roasted Eggplant Soup.

I’m always attracted to the idea of eggplant. In all it’s shiny, aubergine goodness, who can resist? Destined for a luscious eggplant parm that never was, this once glimmering purple veg, began to droop. What might have been a baba ghanoush evolved into a fantastic, hearty and new rendition of my own clean out the fridge soup

ROASTED EGGPLANT SOUP

1 Large Eggplant
1 Onion, peeled and quartered
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary, crushed
4 cups  Vegetable stock
2 Tomatoes, peeled and diced (or one 15oz can will do in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Trim the ends of the eggplant, and quarter it lengthwise.
Place eggplant, onion and garlic on large baking sheet. Drizzle over olive oil.
Roast until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and scrape eggplant from their skins.
Add eggplant and the other vegetables into a large saucepan.
Cover vegetables with the stock and bring rolling simmer until everything is very tender.
Purée soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
Add diced tomatoes and reheat to a simmer.
Quickly blend again leaving a few lumps, to be rustic, if desired
Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.

A Sucker for Babies.


Spring means babies and like the title states, I’m the sucker. I see, little, fresh veggies and new and I have to cook them up – in magnitude…

I couldn’t resist, when last time at the market I spotted these miniature marvels.
Love ’em or not, these adorable eggplants were destined for my grocery bag.

I’m sure that eggplants are much more popular in other areas other than my own dining room, but I serve them up anyway, eggplant caviar, parmigiana, grilled or stuffed like these, they are relatively simple to prepare and dazzling on a plate on their own or shrunken to side dish.

STUFFED BABY EGGPLANT

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling over eggplants
1 Leek, white & light green parts, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 28 oz can Puréed Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
1/4 Cup Red Wine
1 – 1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock, amount will depend on cooking temp and absorption
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
5-6 Fresh Basil Leave, finely chopped
6 Baby Eggplants, halved

Heat the oven to 350ºF.
Half the eggplants lengthwise and score into cubes, without puncturing the skins.
Lightly drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 15 minutes or until tender-firm so the skins are intact but the flesh may be removed, flip the eggplants over cut side down half way through.
Meanwhile, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a deep sauté pan. Add the finely chopped leek and sauté until it’s translucent.
Add the minced garlic and the rice; stirring well.
Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by 1/3.
Add half of the tomato purée and 1 cup of stock, bringing everything to a simmer and stir frequently.
Carefully scoop the flesh from the roasted eggplants, trying not to puncture the skin, to create a cavity. (It’s o.k if you don’t get every last bit.)
Reserve the skins on a baking sheet for stuffing.
When the liquid has reduced by half, add the remaining tomato purée .
Roughly chop the removed eggplant and add to the rice.
Once the rice is tender, add the salt and pepper to taste.
Finely chop the basil and add, reserving a small amount for garnish.
Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary then spoon the filling into the skins.
If you choose, top with a soy mozzarella or if you can use it a nice smoky gouda.
Return the eggplants to the oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

There will be some filling left over. This recipe will easily accommodate a large eggplant in lieu of the babies, just extend the roasting time of the larger eggplant.

Surpisingly Easy Hors D’oeuvres That Don’t Involve Opening a Chip Bag.


I don’t know about you, but I typically go one of two ways when I’m on hors D’oeuvres duty; Chips and dip or stress with what will impress.

I like entertaining and I quite like the reputation that guests don’t need to eat before a gathering at my place. Lately I’ve found a few speedy plates that are quick to keep everyone happy and you chatty while you catch up with company.

The eggplant caviar only takes a bit of prep time with the roasting but with a food processor, everything was so speedy quick that I also threw together some whole grain flat bread in the meantime. Sure, you could buy crackers but this way, you not only know what’s in them, but it’s up to you and your taste buds to add what goes on them. Roll them out and cut them into dainty shapes or go fast and fun and leave them just so. They’re thin and crisp and cracking a piece off to spread some paté just lays things back a little.


Continue reading Surpisingly Easy Hors D’oeuvres That Don’t Involve Opening a Chip Bag.

Eggplant Caviar




EGGPLANT CAVIAR

1 Eggplant, halved and roasted
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Head Garlic, roasted
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Halve the eggplant and lightly salt each side.
Lay cut side down in a roasting pan.
Cut the top stem from the head of garlic.
Drizzle over a small amount of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil.
Bake the eggplant and garlic for 30 minutes or until both are tender.
Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the eggplant and add the pulp to a food processor.
Squeeze the garlic from it’s skin and add it and the lemon juice to the eggplant.
Pulse to combine.
Add the parsley, salt and pepper, mixing to incorporate.
Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt, if necessary.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.