Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The blog has been silent for a while. Mostly because I've been way too busy to type. I compose in my head but that doesn't get on paper. Two weeks ago my very good friends from PA came to visit. We were hounding them to see our house and mostly just wishing we could see them. They made it down in time for Sunday supper and Monday and Tuesday proved to be a much needed sojourn from reality. The big boys golfed, the kiddies went to the 'castle park' off Kelly Road (http://www.apexchamber.com/info/parksandrec.htm) with me and ec. We had a few minor incidents-my son face planted at the park (notice the puffy honker in picture at left) and several of us ended the two days with mild hangovers. Mostly we just hung out and chatted. The only downside was when we had to send them off!
I did manage to show ec my favorite bakery La Farm (we were in sore need of chocolate chip cookies after the park face plant. We ate lunch at Allen and Sons BBQ and dinner at Tyler's Taproom. But we didn't really explore much new restaurant territory. I had intentions of taking ec to visit some new restaurants that were recommended by the local food critic but I was too enticed by the contents of my own cabinets. I had gone bonkers at the farmers market on Saturday so there was an abundance of veggies. Since I am currently obsessed with eggplant (I make a version of ratatouille almost every week), we decided to make an eggplant recipe for supper one night. Nigella Lawson gives 2 recipes for Eggplant Involtini in 2 separate books (How to Eat and Feast). That reinforces my belief that recipes are more guidelines than rules. Here's how I do it.
Preheat oven to 375 F
2-3 large eggplant
(or 4-5 large zucchini)
sliced lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick
olive oil for basting
1/2 cup golden raisins soaked for 10 minutes in warm water, then drain
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup mozzarella chopped fine or shredded
1/4 cup parmesan grated (only if you have nice parm. Otherwise, omit)
2 TBSP breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic minced
1 TBSP parsley
1 TBSP oregano
3 cups of tomato puree (3-4 large tomatoes in a food processor or 2 cans diced tomatoes)
1 cup mozzarella chopped
Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and grill until floppy.
Mix the other ingredients in a bowl.
Roll the eggplant slices around about 2 TBSP of filling until you have a chubby cigar. The eggplant should roll over itself several times. Do this until you are out of eggplant slices. Then take the leftover filling and squish it anywhere that looks bare. Poor tomatoe puree over top and then mozarella. Put in oven for about 40 minutes-until everything is oozing together and the mozarella on top has browned.