Tuesday, July 21, 2009

garlic rosemary eggplant with green beans and tomato basil salad

I had seven hours in the car today to contemplate what I would make for dinner. After 5 days away from home, I was really looking forward to being back in my kitchen, making food the way I like to make it. I wanted to create a meal using only kitchen staples and vegetables from our CSA share, both to be economical and to avoid a grocery store trip on the way home. In addition to the vegetables in our share, I wanted to use some rosemary. On a recent trip to visit my friend Maria in Georgia, I bought a beautiful little rosemary plant, which is now making its home in my backyard along with mint, thyme, and basil. So, aside from staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper, this meal is made entirely of vegetables and herbs from nearby, some as close to my kitchen as about 10 feet.

Garlic Rosemary Eggplant with Green Beans and Tomato-Basil Salad

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 medium tomato, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
coarse sea salt
balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425. Combine garlic, rosemary, and 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl. Add eggplant, and toss gently until eggplant is coated. Spread eggplant in a single layer onto a rimmed baking sheet brushed with olive oil. Bake until bottoms are lightly browned, 7 - 10 minutes. Turn over, and bake until browned on both sides, 5 - 7 minutes more.

Meanwhile, steam the green beans for about 4 minutes, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a few pinches of coarse sea salt. For this recipe, I used some lovely french gray sea salt given to me by my friend Nick.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato and sliced basil with a few tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

This is simple, easy, and quick, a light summer meal perfect after a long day of traveling. Enjoy!

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