Monday, August 3, 2009

Dinner with a Friend

I love how no matter what you make, if you make it with a good friend, it always turns out a treat.

For those of you who have an eggplant or two from your own C.S.A., I have a great light summer meal (vegetarian too, but you can ignore that part). I stumbled on this recipe only because I had an eggplant to use and a small budget (and some picky tastes). I was lucky enough to have invited myself over to a friend's place to make her dinner, and so had an audience for this meal. If I tried this at home with the guy it would have never gotten off the ground.

So the recipe is basically an eggplant and red pepper salad dressed with capers, lemon juice, parsley and garlic. I think I might have used more capers than it called for (we had to measuring spoons) or it is just a strong dressing, but we liked it on homemade white bread. We made sure to stop the healthiness in its tracks and put slices of brie between the bread and salad. Topped off with a glass of moscato and good conversation, it became one of those summer meals you wish you could have every summer night.

Here's to Mel and the use of her awesome new kitchen!

Eggplant with Capers and Red Peppers
(Cooking Light August 2009)

1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 medium red bell pepper
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
3 T capers
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 t salt
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

1. Preheat broiler
2. Pierce eggplant several times with a fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 30 min or until blackened, turning frequently. Cool eggplant slightly; peel and chop.
3. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 min or until blackened. Place in zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 min. Peel and chop.
4. Combine eggplant, bell pepper, onion, and remaining ingrediants in a medium bowl; toss well. Yield: 8 servings (as a side, 3 as a meal).

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