Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eggplant Dip

Your father hates this, but I love it. I think that the first time I made this I needed to do something with leftover grilled eggplant. If you don't want to take the time to grill the eggplant, you can bake it in the oven.

1 eggplant
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
lemon juice
salt & pepper
fresh oregano & basil, chopped

Grilled eggplant or zucchini:
Take the ends off the eggplant & slice lenthwise into 1/2" slices. Marinate in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil. Grill until brown on 1 side, turn & brown the other side. It should be soft, but not falling apart.

Baked eggplant:
Cut the eggplant in half & brush with olive oil & sprinkle with a little salt. Bake at 325, cut side down, on a cookie sheet covered with oiled aluminum foil. Check in about 1/2 hour. The eggplant should be really soft. Cool, scoop out of skin, & proceed.

Process eggplant with garlic, lemon juice and more olive oil. Add salt, pepper, oregano & basil to taste. Serve with pita toasts.

Fried Ravioli

When we lived in Memphis we used to eat often at Ronnie Grisanti's restaurant on Union Avenue next to Sun Records. The restaurant is gone, but we still remember the fantastic fried ravioli appetizer. The ravioli had a delectable meat filling and were served with a garlicy marinara sauce.
Their ravioli was homemade, but I've had decent results with fresh ravioli purchased from the grocery store.

1 pkg fresh ravioli, removed from fridge 1/2 hour or so before frying
olive oil for frying

1/4 Cup parmeseano reggiano cheese-grated

Fresh basil to garnish (optional)

Marinara sauce for dipping - homemade or bottled sauce spruced up with some fresh basil & extra virgin olive oil

Wash & dry the basil. Stack up the leaves and roll lenthwise. Slice across the roll to make a chiffonade of basil.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until a glaze begins to form. Add ravioli a few at a time, so as not to lower the oil temperature too much. Lightly brown on one side, turn and brown on the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with parmeseano reggiano while still hot.

Serve on platter with a bowl of marinara. Sprinkle with basil. Provide toothpicks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Warm Zucchini & Parsley Salad

I made this today to use up some zucchini and parsley that needed to be cooked. I think that this tastes great. Fresh diced tomato would be nice in it too.

Serves 4

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
3 Zucchini, in large dice
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/4 large red onion, chopped
big handful of parsley, chopped coarsely
1-2 tbl Balsamic vinegar

Quarter your zucchini lengthwise, and then slice into large dice.
Heat olive oil in non stick frying pan. Add zucchini and brown, turn & brown on the other side.
Season with salt; reduce heat and add garlic. Stir until garlic just begins to color. Turn off heat. Add red onion and parsley. Stir. Add balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more salt or vinegar.
Serve warm or at room temperature.