My mom gave us some lovely garden-fresh produce to bring home following her boat parade party. You don't see tomatoes on this blog too often unless they've been pulverized into a sauce or soup, and the reason for that is because my husband is an extraterrestrial of some kind and dislikes un-pulverized tomatoes. But this time, I couldn't resist leaving them in their original un-pulverized form. I mean, look at them! Aren't they gorgeous?
They're not gorgeous? How can you say something like... Oh, you must be looking at the weird excuse for an eggplant that she so cleverly sneaked into my doggie bag. (Just kidding, I agreed to take it. There will always be a special place in my heart for misshapen orphaned vegetables that nobody loves!)
Other gifted items included dinner rolls and a chocolate bell pepper. I had herbs and cheese in the house, so my mind jumped straight to bruschette. But because of my husband's tomato handicap, I decided to make two different kinds. And because there were two types of rolls, I ultimately ended up with three different kinds.
I won't bore you with recipes, since I made them all the same way, and there was only slight variation among the ingredients. While pre-roasting the eggplant and bell pepper, I sliced all the dinner rolls (some white, some pumpernickel) thinly and sprinkled on some grated cheese. I used parm for the white ones, mild cheddar for the pumpernickel ones; but I imagine you could do this with an infinite number of different cheeses. Then I used the vegetables and herbs in varying combos and popped each batch into the toaster oven at 350 for five minutes.
Long story short, I ended up with the following combos:
1. White bread, parm, roasted eggplant, roasted bell pepper, herbs
2. White bread, parm, chopped tomatoes, herbs
3. Pumpernickel bread, mild cheddar, roasted eggplant, roasted bell pepper
I tossed the eggplant and bell pepper with olive oil, salt, and black pepper before roasting. In fact, the first bite of eggplant I got was covered in black pepper, and the way my mouth recoiled I thought it might be tannic. After I had chewed a split second longer, I realized this wasn't the case, but I still thought the eggplant might have bred with a hot pepper or something. Eggplants and peppers are in the same family, so considering how ugly the the little guy was before cooking, you can see how I might have jumped to this conclusion. I even went so far as to call my mom and ask if that could have happened, like if she'd planted the eggplants and hot peppers next to one another or something. It took me until my next bite to learn that I just hadn't stirred well enough.
In any case, the rest of the roasted veggies were very enjoyable, if a bit lacking in the black pepper department. My husband and I ate our bruschette with green salads, which made for a welcomed light lunch after a night of stuffing ourselves at the boat parade party.
Off to Harvill's! Got a lot of work to do in the kitchen before a string of Christmases is to commence. I'm grateful to have so many loving family members within a couple hours' drive, but I am able neither to host nor to buy gifts for everyone this year, which means I must contribute a mutant amount of cooking, baking, and canning instead.
Hope to find time to post again soon. After the holidays, stuff should pretty much go back to normal. This means you'll start seeing Chickenless Cooks of the Week again. What interactive activities would you enjoy? Do you guys want to do another TV Dinner or Baffling Ingredient? Would you like to see something new? Let me know!
Beat the eggs. Whip the cream. Show no mercy.