Have I told you yet how much my husband Curt and I love eggplant? We try to cook with it at least a couple of times a month – or whenever we see an extra pretty one at the market. Not only is it delicious, but it’s beautiful with its regal plum-colored skin and soft, mint green flesh. It’s easy to prepare and can be added to so many baked and sautéed dishes. We’re always coming up with different recipes to include eggplant for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. A while back we were admiring an eggplant on our butcher block, trying to decide how to prepare it. We decided to roast it and serve it over a medley of fresh greens. After throwing the idea out there we looked at each other sideways, wondering who was going to object first. Neither of us did, so we went forward with the plan, consulting each other on additional ingredients along the way. I know we were both skeptical about the fresh greens, but it was actually a really great combination of roasted and raw coming together. I suggest a non crunchy leaf, like spinach or a combination of baby greens and cooling the roasted topping to room temp before adding them to the top. And who doesn’t love creamy goat cheese and white balsamic vinegar? Add theses to your liking just before serving, but remember that a small drizzle of white balsamic vinegar goes a long way (and I know my mom would say the same about goat cheese).
This salad was delicious with a slab of marbled steak grilled to rare perfection. I love the marble – let’s continue to call it marble so we don’t have to openly admit what it is. If you aren’t opposed to “marble” either, try forking up a small amount with your salad bite. Delicious. Our go to meat cookbook is Open Range. Montana knows its meat! Preparing meat can be intimidating, especially grilling, searing, and using cast iron, but we have used this cookbook over and over for perfect steaks, chops, and more time and again. And if you happen upon the charming town of Bozeman, Montana, stop in at their restaurant on Main Street! You won’t be disappointed.
Eggplant, Tomato, and Mushroom Roast Over Fresh Greens
The combination of raw and roasted works perfectly when combined with a drizzle white balsamic vinegar and topped with a creamy goat cheese.
- 1/4 eggplant, drained (about 2 cups diced)
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 portobello mushroom halved and sliced
- 1/2 red onion sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves quartered
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- fresh baby greens or spinach
- goat cheese
- white balsamic
Heat a cast iron skillet in a 400 degree oven for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile add the veggies to a bowl and toss gently with tongs in olive oil. Transfer to the heated skillet and roast on the middle rack for 15 - 20 minutes, turning with tongs 2 - 3 times.
Remove from the oven when the eggplant pieces are soft and lightly browned. Gently transfer the topping from the skillet to a plate and cool to room temperature.
Add the topping to your fresh greens. Top with soft goat cheese and drizzle with white balsamic. Crack fresh pepper and serve.