Food for Thought

August 29, 2011 at 9:29 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Someone thought it would be a good idea to turn me loose in the kitchen Friday night but I must admit, the meal I came up with was pretty darn good.  I was inspired as I had an eggplant and some basil lying around so, after finding a few various recipes online, I meshed them together and came up with my own little eggplant baked dish that I’m happy to share today:

Contrary to what my mother thought, this is made atop linguine noodles and not squid tentacles...

So I started this whole thing off by making some pesto from scratch.  Actually, to be totally honest, I started the whole thing off by pouring a glass of wine but you get the idea.  Pesto is surprisingly easy to make and after mixing a cup and a half of fresh basil, a cup of olive oil, three cloves of garlic and a cup of pine nuts (walnuts are used traditionally but those bad boys are expensive; I improvised with what I had and was not disappointed), I was ready to roll.  I blended it all with my handy food processor and before I knew it, pesto was born.  After being thrilled with my taste test and pouring another glass of wine, I was ready to tackle the eggplant.

Eggplant and I don’t have much of a history – it’s good and I eat it but mostly at restaurants because cooking it is a little intimidating.  At least, it was.  Friday I mastered that vegetable and fried it’s rubbery skin into submissiveness.  I basically just sliced it up and tossed it in some egg before coating it with Italian bread crumbs and frying on the stove.  As that was all sizzling, I boiled some water for the spinach and chive linguine that was the base of my dish (mostly because it had been in my cupboard for a ridiculous amount of time).  Once the eggplant and pasta was finished, I got to work layering my concoction in a baking dish.  Which I forgot I owned, so that tells you how often I make meals from scratch.  I used the linguine as the bottom layer and mixed in some tomato and basil marinara sauce as well.  Then came the eggplant and I put slices of provolone cheese on top of that.  I sliced up tomatoes and put them on top of the cheese and the whole thing was covered with a light layer of the pesto I had ready and waiting.  That whole pan was baked for roughly half an hour, along with some butter and garlic rolls.  Then – chow time!

Next time I’ll be a bit quicker as I wasn’t really sure what I was doing this go-round and had to stop and take many breaks from the labor intensive cooking process.  It was more than just edible (not to toot my own horn but it was delicious) and maybe I can plan one of those fancy dinner party adult type things and make it again.  Or I could just eat the whole thing myself while sitting in my underwear and drinking milk from the carton.  Decisions, decisions…


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