After a long hard week during which I was cold-called upon in Torts (and then mercilessly tortured repeatedly for the next hour), I decided to mellow out and start the weekend with a sort of pot luck dinner with friends. And by potluck, I mean I cooked, and Amy brought a (fabulous) salad.
One of the girls attending this dinner follows a "flexitarian" lifestyle, so I decided to pick a few fresh, veggie-friendly dishes and call it a night. Borrowing from an "eggplant bruschetta" recipe from SmittenKitchen.com, I decided to make a roasted eggplant, zucchini and goat cheese bruschetta, and a small fresh tomato and smoked mozzarella salad (love those leftovers!). I started with 1 large and 1 medium sized eggplant and zuchinni, fresh bread from Amy's bakery (on 47th and 9th) fresh tomatoes and goat cheese and garlic from the Amish market (50th and 9th) all pictured below:
I began by cutting the eggplant into small chunks; make them as big or as small as you'd like but try and make them even so they cook evenly. Throw them onto a baking sheet and lightly coat them with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Bake those for about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring them once, until they are "silky." You'll know what I mean by silky when you try the eggplant periodically as it cooks.
About ten minutes before the eggplant is done, chop up the zucchini in similar chunks.
Saute these with a little bit of minced garlic until soft enough that a fork could pierce them easily, but not mushy.
When the eggplant is cooked through, throw it in with the zucchini in a big mixing bowl. Toss with a large handful of goat cheese crumbles, a teaspoon of red wine vinegar and a generous helping of sea salt and pepper.
Then, spoon this delicious mixture over some bread!
As a side dish, cut up some of the freshest tomatoes you can find. This time I used "cocktail tomatoes" which were incredibly reasonable (just $2.50 for a carton of them at the Amish Market!) and toss with some fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Then slice some of your favorite cheese over it. I used my leftover smoked mozzarella and it came out wonderfully, although the pictures simply do not do the dish justice. It is an amazing mix of sweet, tart, and all different wonderful, fresh textures.
Lastly, Amy brought the ingredients for an amazing salad. Clean and fresh, a great mixture of roasted red peppers, walnuts, feta and romaine with a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Everything was so fresh, healthy, filling and cheap, and a great start to the end of a difficult and tiring week!