Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Dog Days are Over

This week, summer has come in in full force. In Charlotte, the humidity has been oppressive and it has been just plain hot, with highs hitting the 90s almost everyday this week. On days like these,who feels like cooking? (Admittedly I still like steamers, hot chocolate, and hot tea in the summer, don’t judge.) But, I have to eat and I still want to eat well. So, here is the dilemma, stand over a hot stove sweating or stick with salads. But, alas, it doesn’t have to be this way! Although I have been on a smoothie kick lately (lots of super ripe peaches + blueberries +  yogurt= smoothie), I have also been obsessed with my host mom’s Eating Well cookbook. Herein was the answer. A meal that didn’t require much preparation or a long cooking time and wasn’t too heavy.

I discovered this recipe Monday, after realizing that I was starving. At 5:00 I felt confident in taking on rush hour traffic if it meant that I could get home to some nourishment. Needless to say, when I got back to the house, dinner was my first priority. I had picked up a beautiful purple Asian eggplant at the farmers’ market a few days before and thought there was a roasted veggie sandwich recipe I had seen in the Eating Well cookbook. I put my own spin on this sandwich and came up with one that I actually made again a few days later it was so good. It was still summery and light, using fresh produce but also substantial enough for a filling Meatless Monday dinner.

Roasted Eggplant Open-Faced Sandwich

Serves 1

1/3 Asian eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1/4 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 Laughing Cow wedge

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon each of chopped fresh oregano, basil, parsley

Two slices of good whole wheat bread

Combine eggplant, red bell pepper, olive, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Arrange on a baking sheet and put under the broiler. Once eggplant and red pepper slices are browned and tender, which takes about 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, toast bread until lightly browned. Then, spread with Laughing Cow cheese and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, according to taste. Chop eggplant and roasted red pepper into 1/2 inch pieces and mix together. Spoon thismixture onto each sandwich half. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.



Coming up soon: I will tell about my recent trips to several “Top 25” restaurants in Charlotte. Mouth watering pictures included!

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