A trio made in heaven: zucchini, eggplant and tomato

August 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm 4 comments

When I did an online search for “zucchini, eggplant and tomato” the results went on for at least thirty pages before I stopped clicking through looking for something that wasn’t a recipe. From ratatouille to gratin and ravioli to grilled kabobs, the possibilities of combining these three lovelies are endless. This time of year is an especially good time to try some of these recipes with all three of the leading ingredients in abundance in home gardens and farmers markets.

This morning I knew I needed to find a recipe to use the two Japanese eggplants I had harvested from our garden last week, so I did a quick search for eggplant on Pinterest. One of the most tantalizing options that appeared was called “Teglia Di Melanzane, Zucchine E Mozzarella Di Bufala” which roughly translated to “Pan of Eggplant, Zucchini and Mozzarella.” Yum.

After reading the translated ingredient list, I knew I had all I needed except fresh mozz. Luckily, I had heard from a friend they were having a 2-for-1 sale on fresh mozzarella logs at one of the grocery stores, so I stopped by and got four. 🙂

Tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.

Here is the rest of the ingredient list:

  • 2 eggplants (360 gr)
  • 2 zucchini (300 g)
  • 360 g red tomatoes
  • 12 slices of mozzarella 1 inch thick
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • basil, chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Here is my edited version of the translated instructions:

Wash the eggplant and cut into slices one centimeter thick. In a bowl, cover the slices with coarse salt and put a weight on top. Let stand for about an hour.
Wash the tomatoes and score the skins. Boil a pot of water and add the tomatoes. After about 20 seconds, remove and peel the tomatoes. Remove all the seeds and chop.
In a skillet, saute the garlic in a tablespoon of oil. Pour in the diced tomatoes, reduce heat, add salt, cover and cook for about ten minutes. Turn off the burner and add the basil.
Rinse the eggplant slices.
Wash the zucchini and cut them in slices.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (this is 350º F).
Brush the zucchini and eggplant with oil and saute in a hot cast iron skillet.
Pour a little oil on the bottom of a baking dish.
Place the tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini and mozzarella on top of the sauce.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, pour a little olive oil, pepper, garnish with fresh basil and serve.

MY NOTES: This recipe was very easy. It takes a bit of time to wait for the eggplant to “sweat” but otherwise, it is pretty “low tech” and fast. For the garlic, the original translation said to remove the garlic. Maybe that didn’t come across from the Italian correctly, but I can’t imagine any reason to remove garlic, so that stayed in. It also said to add “one leaf” of basil, which seemed silly, so I added about three tablespoons.

The taste on this dish was excellent. Smooth, salty, rich from the oil, but also very much something I would describe as friendly for many palates. Like ratatouille, but in a casserole dish. Overall, a perfect choice for a late summer dish for the whole family.

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Entry filed under: Recipes. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joyce  |  September 3, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Thank you so much for the translated version, I also have eggplants from my garden..This sounds great..was wondering how to cook in Italian>>LOL

    Reply
    • 2. Emily  |  September 3, 2012 at 7:39 am

      You bet! It really is an all around tasty recipe, enjoy!

      Reply
  • 3. Cassidy Meeks  |  September 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Emily,
    I made this recipe last night and it was pretty tasty! I wasn’t able to get the eggplant to sweat properly though, and it ended up being a bit bitter. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • 4. Emily  |  September 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Hey Cassidy, thanks for your note! Bummer about the eggplant – what kind of salt did you use? I think you definitely need a course salt, like sea salt. If you used table salt, it may not come out as well. If you used something course, not sure why it wouldn’t work, admittedly I haven’t done a ton of “sweating” with veggies before, so I’m still learning myself. Glad you tried it!

      Reply

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