Sunday, March 31, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Bites with Asparagus, Sopressata and Goat Cheese

I miss blogging! And the world. Life is a blur right now as we adjust to two kids. I'm getting almost no sleep because my now 6-week-old is still in the wrong time zone and screams daily from 1-6 am, and then my 2-year-old is awake around 7:15. When the older one was this age he had his witching hours from 7 pm to 2 am.

At the very least my younger son decided the day we brought him home from the hospital his bedtime would be 7:30 pm and no later - which is when we would have made it since older bro's is at 8 o'clock. This leaves my husband and I almost nightly with a chance for date night! Mostly we scramble to clean up our house and get ready for what the kids will need the next day - but we have also decided "screw responsibilities" a few nights a week, and cracked open a bottle of red wine and cooked dinner. So really I bring you this amazing little concoction of mine thanks to my little baby and his desire to go to bed early. And also thanks to my husband who managed to get him to finally settle down to sleep at 6:15 am this morning; so instead of trying to pump breast milk while holding a wiggly, crying baby, I have a quiet dark room and free hands to type out this post on my phone.

I don't know where I came up with this. I may have ran across some recipes and parts stayed with me but I don't recall when or where so I have no one to credit. Hopefully I won't get sued for claiming I made it up. Enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant Bites with Asparagus, Sopressata and Goat Cheese

2 medium-sized purple eggplants
Olive oil to drizzle
Kosher salt for sprinkle
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
One bunch (approximately 1 pound) asparagus, cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 cup pine nuts
10 oz (preferably pre-cut) sopressata
4 oz goat cheese, lightly crumbled

Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Lower the temperature to medium low and add the onion. Stir it around and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then stir again and continue to let it sit and caramelize.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the eggplant into 1-inch thick rounds and place them on a rimmed baking pan lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle both sides of the eggplant with olive oil - not a lot because you don't want it soggy. Then sprinkle it with kosher salt. Put it in the oven to roast for 20 minutes.

While its cooking add the garlic, asparagus and pine nuts to the skillet. Toss and turn it every few minutes. Make sure the onions aren't burning but are slightly browning which will give them a sweet flavor.

When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven and set your broiler to high. Place 1-3 slices of sopressata on each piece of eggplant, then scoop out some of the asparagus mixture and place it on top. Top it with a bit of crumbled goat cheese. When all the eggplant is covered, place it on the high rack below the broiler for 3-5 minutes to toast the goat cheese.

Although I haven't tried it, I'm sure this would taste great grilled instead of broiled. If we ever see spring or summer hopefully we will be able to grill this year!

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