September 9, 2013
This summer has been a time of plenty–plenty of rain and plenty of sun. In the musical Oklahoma, they sing that “the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.” Now, I know it’s supposed to be an exaggeration, and I’m not sure how high and elephant’s eye would be, but the field of corn bordering my son’s yard have stalks eight to nine feet tall. At 5’2″, I’m dwarfed standing beside them.
And while the crops are flourishing, the home gardens are bursting at the seams. Every day, my husband comes home from breakfast (where all his buddies meet to solve the world’s problems) with his arms laden with fruits and vegetables. Green peppers, red peppers, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, figs, apples, peaches, and, my favorite–tomatoes. Mmmm! I can’t get enough of them.
I’m blessed to have so many friends willing to share the bounty–lots of friends … lots of bounty. The tricky part comes with the constant search to find new, exciting, yet delicious ways to prepare the vast amount of fresh produce. One of my favorites is grilled eggplant. So, just in case you find your countertop covered with the purple stuff, I thought I’d share.
Grilled Eggplant (serves 2)
Roast a red pepper on the grill, charring the outside completely. Place in a paper sack to steam until cool enough to handle. Peel off charred outer layer. Remove seeds and slice into strips.
Cut eggplant lengthwise into half-inch slices. If the peeling is tough, consider peeling first. Brush both sides with extra-virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper as desired. Grill on one side. Turn over. Lay a slice of roasted red pepper on each slice of eggplant. Top that with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese ( I like the small balls, which I pinch in half). The cheese will melt as the eggplant finishes cooking.
When all is done, remove from the grill. Top each slice with a spoonful of pesto, drizzle with good olive oil and splash with good balsamic vinegar.
And PLEASE, share any wonderful, easy ways to prepare any of the fruits/veggies mentioned above!