STACKED ITALIAN EGGPLANT
For a few months now, I have been toying around with the idea of a gluten-free lifestyle. The one food I miss most is probably pasta because I’ve gone from cooking it once a week to not at all. Yes, you can certainly find gluten-free pasta in stores but if you look at the ingredients, you’re going to find a corn-based ingredient which I’ve been trying to avoid with a whole foods lifestyle. You could go with a less-intensive wheat like Einkorn… but it’s still a strain of wheat. You could also go with brown rice pasta but it often turns out mushy. SO, the trick is to pack in a punch with the flavors that go into your favorite pasta dish in a way that makes you forget that pasta was supposed to be involved at all.
This is my take on a pasta dish I had in Sicily that contained eggplant, onions, capers, raisins, and fennel in a fresh tomato sauce.
I deconstructed the sauce, had fun with presentation, made it more refreshing by combing raw and cooked ingredients and could not be happier with the way it turned out!
- Italian Eggplants (2)
- Beefsteak Tomatoes (2)
- Zucchini (1)
- Lemon (1/4)
- Yellow Onion (1)
- Celery Stalks (2)
- Garlic Clove (1)
- Herbs de Provence (1 tbsp)
- Capers (1 tbsp)
- Raisins (Handful)
- Dried Red Chile Pepper (Pinch)
- Vegetable Broth (1/4 cup)
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Thinly slice up the yellow onion.
- Drizzle some oil into a pan and add the sliced onions. Raise the heat to low. Season the onions with salt + pepper and toss in the herbs de provence.
- Chop up the celery stalks and add to the pan. Stir with the onions.
- As the onions and celery are cooking, add the raisins, capers, and dried red chile. Let cook over low heat.
- Meanwhile, slice up the eggplant into 1-inch rounds. Place the eggplant into a bowl of salted water and allow them to sit for about 30 minutes.
- Slice up the tomatoes into similar 1-inch rounds and set aside.
- Using a mandoline slicer, slice up the zucchini and place in a strainer. Squeeze the lemon into a small bowl and add the zucchini. Season with a little salt, toss in the lemon juice and let sit.
- Check on the sauté pan and add the broth. Keep the heat at low.
- Drain the eggplant, wipe with a paper towel and lay out on a plate. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt + pepper.
- Heat a grill pan for the eggplant and cook the eggplant until tender (roughly 10 minutes per side).
- When the eggplant are done, you can start plating. Start by creating a zucchini “carpaccio” galette on the bottom of your plate. Then layer on the eggplant, tomato, and filling (what you created in the sauté pan).