Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eggplant Bruschetta

One of the problems with our CSA is that we often get one of each item, instead of several.  All of the recipes that I have earmarked for eggplants require several eggplants and at any given time I have only received one.  So I had to resort to new recipes.  This recipe was in my new favorite vegetarian-friendly cookbook, Molto Gusto: Easy American Cooking by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner.  We only had one eggplant, so I halved the recipe, which was easy enough to do.  While I'm not sure that this bruschetta was the most successful bruschetta that I have ever made, but it was quite tasty.  I never would have thought to make an eggplant dish with a combination of tomatoes, mint, and hot red pepper flakes, but it was delicious.  Unfortunately, the only bread we had was a levain sourdough boule, which wasn't quite the perfect match with the eggplant topping, but it was still quite tasty.
Recipe after the jump!

Eggplant Bruschetta
Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking
By: Mario Batali and Mark Ladner

1 lb. eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
kosher salt
1/4 cup evoo
3/4 cup Pomi strained tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
6 3/4-inch-thick slices filone or other country bread
2 garlic cloves, peeled

Put the eggplant in a colander set on a plate, sprinkle generously with salt, and let stand for 20 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.  Rinse the eggplant, drain, and pat dry.  Toss with 2 tbsp of the oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Broil, stirring and turning the eggplant occasionally, until it is charred in spots and just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, bring the tomato sauce to a boil in a small saucepan and boil, stirring occasionally, until as thick as ketchup.  Stir in the mint and red pepper flakes.  Add the tomato mixture to the eggplant, stirring well.  Stir in the remaining 2 tbsp evoo and serve warm, or at room temperature.

Grill or toast the bread, turning once, until marked with grill marks or deep golden brown, but still soft in the center.  Rub a garlic clove just around the circumference of each toast, along the jagged outer crust.  Divide the eggplant among the bruschetta and serve.

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