I love summer fruits and vegetables, so I am ecstatic that I am now cleared by my doctor to carry heavy bags of produce from the farmers’ market to my house. I made a trip last weekend to the South of the James market and I went a little overboard with vegetable purchases. Everything wonderful is in season right now!
- Goats R Us roasted red pepper chèvre (so flavorful!)
- Green bell peppers
- White peaches
- Yellow crookneck squash
- Green beans
I made a ton of great seasonal meals last week, and doing a lot of meal prep (washing, chopping, blanching, etc.) on Sunday helped me out so I could get healthy home cooked meals on the table around a busy schedule. The roasted red pepper chèvre and eggplant inspired me to throw together a quick and easy appetizer on Sunday afternoon.
This is a flavorful, summery dish that you can put together in about fifteen minutes, which is great for those impromptu summer porch sitting sessions. You know what I’m talking about. When a conversation with friends that starts with “What are you doing tonight?” and “I don’t know, what are you doing?” ends with two friends and a bottle of wine on your patio.
I used oval-shaped eggplant slices in place of baguette slices to make this summer “bruschetta” a bit lighter (and gluten-free, if you’re into that kind of thing). I guess technically that makes it not bruschetta, but I don’t bother with technicalities on sunny summer weekends. If you’re unlike me and you’re getting hung up on the semantics, have another glass of wine and throw some quotation marks around the word “bruschetta.”
Eggplant Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Chèvre
- 1 Chinese eggplant
- 2 small heirloom tomatoes (I used Green Zebra and a red-green variety I couldn’t identify)
- 1 oz. fresh chèvre goat cheese (I used roasted red pepper)
- 1 small handful of fresh basil
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice the eggplant on a diagonal to make oval-shaped slices, about a 1/4 inch thick.
- Heat a grill pan, indoor counter top grill, or outdoor grill. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil, then grill for a few minutes on each side, until eggplant is tender and grill marks appear. Do not overcook or eggplant will get mushy; you want the slices to still be firm enough to hold the toppings.
- While eggplant is cooking, slice tomatoes. Stack and roll basil leaves, then slice into a chiffonade.
- Remove eggplant slices from grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Spread each eggplant slice with chèvre, then top with a tomato slice and basil. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
So are you curious what we made with all of the rest of that produce? Here is last week’s meal plan. At the end of the week, when there is still produce left over, I chop it all and throw it in a stir-fry or on homemade pizza.
Lunch: Mediterranean salad with baby greens, cucumber, tomato, olive, and hummus
Noodleless Zucchini Lasagna and baby greens salad
BBQ Tempeh, Green Beans Almondine, and Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Tomatillo Gazpacho with Fresh Corn Salad (recipe coming soon!) and Black Bean Quesadillas
What tasty seasonal recipes are on your meal plan for this week?