Today, I came home from the farmer's market with a double armload of local, organic, (free!) vegetables. Some were new this season, like our Japanese eggplant and heirloom tomatoes.
Inspired by these mid-summer gems, I decided to do a lil' fancy cooking and make gluten-free eggplant pasta!
~ 2 Japanese eggplant, local & organic
~ 1/4 large heirloom tomato, deseeded & chopped, local & organic
~ 1 tsp. garlic, minced local & organic
~ 1/8 tsp. red chili flakes, from bulk
~ 1/16 c. half & half, gifted
~ 1 Tbsp. basil chiffonade, fresh, local & organic
~ sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
~ RealSalt, sourced near my home state
~ cracked black pepper, from bulk
~ olive oil, from bulk
See all these delicious veggies from the farm? I'm so lucky.
I found the eggplant pasta recipe on Food Network (courtesy of Alton Brown) and stayed pretty true to it. Here's the original recipe, with my edits, for your cooking ease:
"Peel each eggplant... Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise, about 1/4-inch thick.
Evenly coat each slice with the salt and purge on a sheet pan... for 30 minutes." This is totally necessary and draws out the eggplant's natural bitterness, leaving only deliciousness!
"Rinse with cold water and roll in paper towels to dry." No, no paper towels!! I used a clean dishtowel.
"Slice the pieces into thin strips to resemble pasta.
In a large sauté pan heat the oil" on medium.
"Add the garlic and chili flakes and toast" for 1-2 minutes.
"Add the eggplant 'pasta' and toss to coat.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the cream and increase heat to thicken sauce" for 1-2 minutes.
Turn off the heat, then "Finally add the basil and Parmesan and toss to combine.
Season with pepper, no salt needed as the eggplant will have residual salt from the purge. Serve immediately."
Here's how mine turned out! Delectable and gratifying, served with a bottle of Belgian blonde homebrewed beer. Life is good.