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Cooking away the CSA, week 20: Taking the kitchen outside


Grilled eggplant with tomato and goat cheese.

Grilled eggplant with tomato and goat cheese. by Sarah Henning

I always love the idea of eggplant.

They’re beautiful.

They’re tasty.

And I have a very, very bad habit of neglecting them. I buy them, or pick them from my Rolling Prairie CSA choices, look at their glorious purple skins a tad bit too long and end up doing absolutely nothing with them.

It’s a total shame.

If not for the fact that my compost pile also gets their tasty little ruined forms, but for the fact that they happen to be one of the hubby’s favorite foods. The man loves eggplant Parmesan about as much as he loves apple pie.

But it is too dang hot to make eggplant Parmesan.

Yet, we ended up both buying some eggplant at the Lawrence Farmers' Market on Saturday and then ended up getting two eggplants, along with tomatoes (slicing and grape), cucumbers, melon and little sweet peppers) in our Rolling Prairie CSA last Monday.

And I knew I couldn’t just let four of these precious little beauties waste away.

So, we took to the Internet and found the perfect recipe. Used up all four eggplant in making this special dish not once but twice this week. And, thus, avoided dropping our purple beauties in the compost pile.

Eggplant on the grill.

Eggplant on the grill. by Sarah Henning

Grilled Eggplant Topped with Goat Cheese and Tomato (adapted from The Kitchn) serves 2

2 medium eggplants*

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons honey balsamic vinegar OR 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

1 stalk Italian parsley, leaves only, minced (we didn’t use them)

Small handful fresh chives, chopped (we didn’t use them)

Salt and pepper

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Slice the eggplants into rounds about 3/4-inch thick. Salt lightly and set aside. Heat the grill (or stove-top grill pan) to high heat.

Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and lightly dunk the eggplant slices so each is moist with the oil. Place them on the heated grill and cover. Cook, turning halfway through, for 8-10 minutes, or until they are as soft as you prefer.

Meanwhile, toss the chopped tomatoes with the minced herbs and mix with just a little salt and pepper to taste.

In the last couple minutes of cooking, sprinkle each eggplant slice with a few crumbles of goat cheese and cook so that the cheese begins to soften. Remove the slices, top with the tomato mixture, and serve!

*Baby eggplants, or the long, skinny Asian eggplants, are best, but smallish purple globe eggplants will do.

What’d we get this week? Tomatoes (slicing and cherry), cucumbers, garlic, green beans, bell peppers, potatoes.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, green beans, bell peppers and potatoes.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, green beans, bell peppers and potatoes. by Sarah Henning


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