Monday, April 2, 2012
Easy Eggplant Cacciatore
It's a great feeling when you come up with an experimental recipe AND it doesn't take too long. Many times the experimental recipes I'm happy with are delicious, but they take longer than I anticipated or have several steps to get them "just right." This is one of those recipes that is fairly quick and you can't get much simpler as far as how to prepare it. It was a winner in our home, and will be made time and time again.
I was thinking the other day of how easy my chicken cacciatore recipe is and how much I love that it lasts for more than one meal. I wanted to do something different, though, and make it even healthier. I can do without meat for most of meals and wanted something that was very filling and would last for leftovers. I switched out the chicken for eggplant in this recipe and wasn't disappointed. It uses only three ingredients!
In the photo above, I just spread a little spinach to the side of the cacciatore. To eat it, I served over a bed of fresh spinach. The spinach wilted a little from the heat and they taste great together.
Projected time, start to finish: Under 1 hour (note if you use brown rice, this will take a little longer unless you cook it in advance)
2 medium eggplant
3 cups cooked rice
23 ounces marinara sauce of your choice (I used a jar of Prego marinara)
Start rice to cook, unless you cooked it ahead of time. (When it's finished, let it sit.)
Wash eggplant and chop off ends. No need to peel. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch (approximately - you don't want them too thin) rounds and then cube the rounds by slicing vertically and then horizontally. You want good-sized chunks of eggplant.
Place eggplant in large bowl and generously sprinkle with kosher salt, tossing to combine. Let sit for about 15 minutes to draw out some of the moisture.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place eggplant in a colander and rinse off the salt, shake to remove excess water then pat eggplant with paper towels to remove more moisture.
Turn eggplant onto parchment paper in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
Pour marinara sauce into large pan or skillet, then add eggplant and stir to coat. Heat on medium heat until bubbling, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Fluff rice while eggplant simmers.
Add rice to eggplant, stir to combine and simmer for five more minutes.
Serve with salad or over a bed of fresh spinach (heat will wilt spinach a little bit).
My photo of beauty today isn't the best quality, but it was the best I could get of this mockingbird. Because I wasn't trying to sleep, the chatter didn't bother me. It was running all around in the front yard making all sorts of racket and looking quite cute.
Why I'm sharing this: http://mamameglutenfree.blogspot.com/2012/02/beauty-in-eye-of-beholder.html