So the flip side of the coin was a tomato eggplant gratin which is a cinch to put together. From the Cooking section of the New York Times last week, it is a versatile and forgiving dish with enough zip to make it taste like an entree.
Start with yellow and red grape tomatoes with seasoning as indicated and oil. I had the last of our truck farm tomatoes to use up. Thanks to 90 days of sun, they held on till the end! Peel and chop the eggplant and toss with tomatoes. Then mix shredded mozzarella with panko, basil, more seasoning and olive oil. Mix half of panko with the tomato/eggplant and put into roasting/casserole pan. Add tomato purée and to with the remainder of the seasoned panko.
Side dish on Sunday and entree on Monday!
At Reagan National airport, which I frequent on my way to or from my corporate HQ, there’s a takeaway joint at the Jet Blue gates that for some reason never has the ability to cook the hot food on their menu. And because I’m usually on the last flight of the day and am starving by the time I get through the heinous security line where pre check is only a distant memory, I usually will need to eat something before my flight. Even if it’s cold. Hence the “love” salad, named by vendor not me.
You have your peppery arugula, you have your tomatoes (yellow ones here,just because)
Then you add your mozzarella and for an added treat, the joint always tosses the salad with some cooked pastina, the little star shaped pasta favored as first pasta for babies. Always makes me smile.
Add some basil, EVOO, and balsamic and toss. If you’re in the airport add a bottle of water and find a corner of an almost empty gate by a charging station and enjoy!
A sad looking zucchini that was even sadder when I started slicing and two lonely mini eggplants?
Why make a ratatouille tart of course!
I started with aforementioned sad zucchini and lonely eggplants sliced as thin as my thinny, thin, thin knife could go and then sauteed them in a pan with some onions. I quartered four Campari tomatoes and opened the jar of sunny roasted peppers I had in the fridge. I also mixed a beaten egg with some light cream and set aside. While all this was happening I was blind baking a premade pie crust in my tart pan in a 375° oven for about 12 minutes. Nicely browned.
Once the veggies are soft and caramelized in the olive oil in the skillet, I added salt and pepper and the jarred roast peppers to the mix. I put the veggies in the baked and cooled tart shell and poured the beaten egg in the crust. It shouldn’t be all egg, but should just be holding the vegetables in place. I sprinkled some shredded mozzarella on top and little dabs of goat cheese. Lastly I put the tomatoes in middle. Into the 375° oven again for about 20 minutes. Then I turned the broiler on for about 6 minutes to give the cheese a extra measure of bubbly and melty ( remember the two dwarfs that no one ever talked about….) . I served the tart, cut into fours, on a bed of fresh arugula dressed with olive oil, my new favorite balsamic, and some salt and pepper! Perfect for meatless monday, which we almost did, but then our friend A was over for a work dinner for us and I added some Barramundi at the last minute!
Sometimes, simple is best. Like when you spent the day spring cleaning and the Hubs helped Minutemen and British regulars all day at the annual reenactments for Patriot’s Day. So I decided to keep it simple and whip up some plain cheese omelettes with a garlic salad topper. I start them by melting butter and a little olive oil in the pans and swirl it to coat the pan. Add beaten eggs mixed with cream or milk and some salt and pepper. Plan on two eggs per person.
As the eggs start to cook, move the edges back and let more eggs run in. Eventually the eggs will solidify and I add little bits of mozzarella cheese. Cook through and then fold over once, lower heat and cook for about another two minutes.
Meanwhile, back in a bowl, toss some arugula with chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Slide the omelette onto a plate and top with the salad. Quick and easy! In fact, simple!
(Oh, and notice the omelettes are yellow for April’s color challenge!)
It’s good, but not the same….as the one you could make in the middle of summer with your own arugula, basil and tomatoes. You know, the kind of tomatoes that are still warm from the sun? And basil that perfumes the whole house when you crush it?
I had all the ingredients for a classic caprese salad. Toss the arugula with some lemon juice and olive oil, add tomato, a soft pillow of mozzarella or burrata ( pictured) and a “paste” of basil and olive oil.
I don’t know about you, but I’m jonesing for July!