Eggplant Bruschetta…

While on vacation here in Hawaii, we’ve been eating out often. One of my mom’s favorite places is Kalapawai Market in Kailua.  They have mainly sandwiches for the lunch crowd. What brings her in is their bruschetta plates. They make a smoked salmon and an eggplant version and both are very good. After eating there for lunch, I felt inspired to make my own eggplant bruschetta since we had some in the fridge.

I decided to make a Ragout of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and red peppers for my topping. We had four of the Japanese style eggplant, the skinnier variety. I tossed the zucchini in there simply because we had them. For the tomatoes, I’d normally use Romas, but we went to Whole Foods so we splurged on heirlooms instead.

Be careful not to overcook the ragout as eggplant and zucchini will both become very mushy after a while.

As for topping onto the baguette, I used goat cheese as my base layer.  You could use cream cheese, boursin, or any other spreadable cheese. I chose goat cheese because it has a nice tartness which contrasts the sweetness from the ragout.

All in all, it turned out very good. I might even say better than Kalapawai Market’s, probably because of the added zucchini and heirloom tomatoes.

I also topped them with a dab of pesto for flavor and appeal.

Eggplant Ragout

1 lb eggplant (4 small Japanese), halved and in 1/4″ slices
2 T salt
1 cup Olive oil (half extra-virgin, half regular), {not light!}
1 cup roasted red peppers
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large heirloom tomatoes (or four Romas), chopped small
2 zucchini, halved and in 1/4″ slices
black pepper
1 T dried basil

Sprinkle 1 T salt over the halved eggplant and let sit a few minutes. Rinse and drain with cool water. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Heat oil over medium high heat and when it’s shimmering hot, add eggplant, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Reduce to medium and cover, cooking for about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook another 5 minutes. Add the other 1 T salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in basil and turn off heat.

To prepare, spread cheese on toasted baguette and place one spoonful of ragout over cheese. Serve warm.

*up next…Indian Night…*

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