like most other children, i used to hate eggplant. i continued doing so until i worked in a tapas restaurant in high school where they served the most delicious breaded eggplant covered with marinara and alfredo sauces. i think they called it eggplant parmesan. well i’m not sure how to prepare the classic version of eggplant parm and frankly i don’t care because this recipe is so delicious. and made with my beautiful farmer’s market eggplant! the parmesan happens to be in quotes because there is not a speck of parmesan in this recipe, just mozzarella. i just didn’t feel like calling it: breaded and pan fried eggplant in a bed of marinara topped with melted mozzarella and (get this) pesto.
the pesto is the quiet star that brings this recipe together. rather than a basil-y marinara sauce where the flavor can all too easily get lost i made a batch of the most basic pesto with my pile of basil. the pesto doesn’t take over the dish either as it can do because its just a small amount on top. it takes this from any old eggplant recipe to something deserving to be in a gourmet kitchen. (my delicious recipe for the pesto is here but i didn’t bother with the parmesan in this case because i didn’t have any and i wanted dinner, not a trip to the store!)
i feel a little silly posting a recipe on how to make caprese but i didn’t discover it until 6 or 7 years ago so chances are there are still a few people out there who don’t know it exists yet. and of course i’m a bit biased and think my way of doing it is the best.
its been almost a week since i posted a recipe. yikes! i just went back to work this week after having almost 4 months of vacation so when i come home i’m lazy and exhausted from my long bike ride so anything coming from the kitchen (rather than pizza delivery or the bar across the street) is a miracle. that’s why i have had caprese 3 out of 7 days this week.
the other thing keeping recipes off this blog this week is the fear of having to clean up my kitchen to take photos. there are lots of blogs that have recently done “my kitchen in real life” bits, where their kitchen looks like the immaculate surfaces in my mom’s house and i really don’t believe that’s “real life”. that’s not how my kitchen rolls unless its once a week after we clean. most of the time i can shove things out of the camera frame, but not this week. that’s what sundays are for.
that spinach pesto i told you about last post was just a tease. i created it for this sandwich and i finally have the time to share this with you after a college reunion of sorts with some of my favorite people.
this roasted beet sandwich was inspired by a cafe i worked at awhile ago. i received catered sandwiches, a daily soup, and a daily hot entree to cook. with my dairy intolerance and meat aversion there was often not much to choose from. this beet sandwich was all that i could eat one day and i was very apprehensive; hunger got the best of me and i ended up saving the leftovers and eating them until they were gone.