This summer I had more eggplant than I knew what to do with. Usually I made baba ghanouj or I roasted the eggplant and froze it for later. One morning I stumbled across a roasted tomato and eggplant soup that sounded absolutely amazing – I had to try it. While it was a little more work than I usually like to put into things (yes, I’m a lazy cook), it was absolutely worth it. I modified the recipe a bit to finish it off in the crock pot, as an lazy cook would do :). I was living in Madison at the time, so unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the final product before leaving for school. I’m sure I’ll be making it again, so I will update the post with more pictures.
Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart
- About a dozen plum tomatoes, cored and halved
- 1 large onion, diced
- 10 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large eggplant, halved
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 large bunch of basil
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil-lined pan and 1 unlined pain with cooking spray. Place the eggplant on the lined pan, face down. Poke holes in the top with a sharp knife. Place the tomatoes, onions, oil, and garlic on the unlined pan
(in the picture you can see I put the basil, but it came close to burning, so I wouldn’t do that again)
- Roast both pans for 45 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes to prevent burning.
- If possible, peel the tomatoes (as I mentioned above, I’m a lazy cook, so I wasn’t too picky about this). Pour tomatoes into a food processor and blend well. Pour into a 4 or 6 qt crock pot.
- Remove the skins from the eggplant and pour into the food processor. Puree and thin with some water.
- Add to the crock pot and combine well. Add the chickpeas and basil to the crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Tomatoes are in full swing and my dad’s heirlooms are especially sweet now. Here is a quick and easy lunch recipe I threw together last weekend. I love tomatoes and pesto, so I had eyed this recipe up since it was posted in early in August. The original recipe (here) has how to make crust from scratch. I was lazy and had pizza dough on hand, so I just used that to make two galettes.
Tomato Pesto Galette
Original recipe – Two Peas and Their Pod
- 2-3 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
- premade whole wheat pizza dough (or see link above for dough from scratch)
- 1/3 cup basil pesto (I used this recipe from earlier in the summer)
- [optional] fresh Parmesan, feta, or mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a cookie sheet and/or pie tin. I made one in a pie tin and one on a cookie sheet.
- Roll out dough to desired size. Spread a generous amount of pesto and top with tomato slices.
- Fold edges over the tomatoes (see picture)
- Top with cheese, if desired.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
This winter J and I purchased 1/2 a cow from a local farmer. I am not much of a beef eater (I could eat chicken every day…or no meat at all) but I wanted to support a local farmer and give grass-fed beef a try. I am VERY happy with the beef. The flavor is different from what we used to get in the store and I actually find myself wanting to make it for dinner (vs. eating because I don’t want it to go to waste and I could use the iron, zinc, B12, B6, and protein). I am amazed at how naturally lean the meat is as well; when I brown the beef there is less than a tbsp or two of fat for me to drain off (so I’ve stopped wasting my time draining it off – it has some healthy fats in it anyway, since they are grass-fed).
I was also impressed with the farmer. He invited us to his farm to see the cows before we decided to make the purchase. He has 7 pastures and moves the cows each day. This way the grass isn’t over-grazed and is ready for the cows when the come back in a week. Winters in WI are cold, like really cold, so in the winter, many farmers will supplement their “grass-fed” cows with corn. Not this guy. He feeds them hay from the fields to make sure they stay grass-fed.
Last week I took a study break to throw together something quick for dinner. I used these Roasting Guidelines to decide how long to cook my roast. For the side dish, I opted for broiled tomatoes. I sliced large beef steak tomatoes in half, sprinkled with part-skim mozzarella cheese, and topped with Italian seasoning and garlic. Put them on a pan lined with foil and broil them for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts; I kept the light on in the oven so I could watch them. After I took the picture I drizzled them with balsamic vinegar.