Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fun and relaxing weekend. I took part in a ridiculous scavenger hunt yesterday to win tickets to Fun, Fun, Fun Fest here in Austin. I didn't really care so much about winning the tickets which is probably a good thing since we didn't win. What can I say? I was wasn't willing to get a tattoo or shave a 1/3 of my head just for some festival tickets. Oh well. It was a good time. But today is Monday which meant back to the daily grind.
As I was listening to my new round of lectures today for school a particular quote from New York Times Columnist and Cookbook Author, Mark Bittman, stuck out to me, "The more you know what's in your food, the more you know how it's produced, the angrier you'll be". I have to say I agree with this statement 100%, at least in my experience. However, I would also add to it that once you have educated yourself on the food systems in this country and have gone out and grown your own food, or purchased organic, locally grown food and have created a meal with your own two hands, that that meal will much more satisfying.
That was exactly the case with this meal. When you use wholesome and fresh ingredients there is no need to create a fancy dish, the flavors will speak for themselves. I used only organic and locally grown ingredients to make this bruschetta (the olive oil, salt and pepper weren't local, but we can look past those things, yeah?).
When I saw the loaf of Rosemary Olive Bread and the most beautiful eggplant at the Farmer's Market the other week, I felt like it was just begging to be turned into bruschetta. This is the way I've been trying to plan my meals lately; by wandering around the Farmer's Market and being inspired by the local produce. I encourage you to try it and if you do, let me know what you make!
*Please note that all measurements are an estimate, which is one of the great things about this recipe, you can just make it up and add things as you go along*
- 1 Small Eggplant
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/4 Cup Yellow Onion, Diced
- 3-4 Medium Sized Tomatoes, Diced
- 1 Cup Kale, Chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Whatever Fresh Herbs you can get your hands on, I used Basil and a little Oregano
- 1 Loaf of Vegan Italian Bread, I used Rosemary Olive Focaccia bread, but I will be using this recipe next time
Preheat the oven to about 475 degrees or a low broil temperature.
In a pan or skillet, saute the onions and garlic over medium heat, in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the onions begin to look translucent. Add in the tomatoes and eggplant and cook until most of the liquid has cooked out of the tomatoes. Turn off the burner and add the kale. While the kale is wilting, slice the bread and brush one side of each slice with a thin layer of olive oil. Place the slices on a cookie sheet.
Spoon the sauteed vegetables onto each slice of bread, I like to add as many vegetables as each slice will hold. Once each slice is assembled, put the cookie sheet into the oven and toast the bread for about 5-7 minutes or until it begins to look golden brown, keeping in mind that the bread will only get harder once it's removed from the oven. Allow to cool for a couple minutes and then serve the bruschetta as an appetizer or as the main meal accompanied by some salad and/or soup. If you want to get really fancy, drizzle each slice with some balsamic vinegar just before serving.
What inspires you to cook?