It’s the last week of school for the little ones! No more waking up early, no more checking homework, no more “please, go back to bed, you have school in the morning!”
Nope. No more. Just hanging and lounging and playing and library trips and camping and hiking and beaching it up! All that good summer stuff. If you can’t tell already, I’m very excited for summer! Everything is just a little bit brighter in the summer, including the food. It’s light, it’s happy, it’s earthy and fresh and I am a huge fan of all of it, particularly the vegetables. One of my most favorite summer vegetables is eggplant. Fry it, grill it, saute it and I will like it as long as it’s seasoned properly. But, this particular dish is one of my most favorites for summer. Roasted eggplant and plum tomatoes combined with shallots and garlic and oil, well seasoned on top of toasted bread slices. Fresh herbs, a little lemon and balsamic. Done!
1. Here’s the basics of what you’ll need: This stuff in the picture, plus slices of lightly toasted Italian bread.
2. Peel and finely chop up the garlic cloves and the shallot.
3. Pop them in a large pan coated with extra virgin olive oil. Squeeze lemon juice over the pan.
4. Do not forget to season them.
5. Cook on low until soft and fragrant. They should look like this and smell amazing.
6. Add herbs while the oil is warm. I chose basil and thyme.
7. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, lightly coat each of the toasted bread slices with the olive oil and some of the shallots and garlic that have been softened.
8. Roast the eggplant and the tomatoes
9. Remove flesh from tomatoes and eggplant and add it to the saute pan.
10. Mash the tomato and eggplant flesh with a masher until well combined. Remember to season to taste.
11. Top each slice of toasted bread with the eggplant and tomato mixture. Top that with torn basil and a shaker of oil and balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Bruschetta
10 thick slices of Italian bread
1 medium eggplant
2 plum tomatoes
3 large cloves of fresh garlic
salt, pepper,olive oil
1/2 large lemon’s juice
fresh herbs: a sprig of thyme and a small handful of fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place bread slices on an oven safe serving platter. Toast in preheated oven and then set aside.
Chop eggplant and tomatoes in half lengthwise and coat in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place open side down on sheet pan and cook in preheated oven until skin is easily peeled away and the flesh is tender , or about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Finely chop shallots and garlic and place into a large nonstick pan coated with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan along with the lemon’s juice and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until soft and fragrant. Add fresh herbs to the pan while the oil is warm.
Using a pastry brush lightly coat each slice of toasted bread with the olive oil and some of the shallot/garlic mix, reserving some for the roasted vegetables soon to be added to that pan.
Scoop the inside of the eggplant and tomatoes into the pan and mash until well combined. Season to taste. Spoon onto each toasted slice of bread and finish with a bit of torn fresh basil and a shaker of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.