Twelve hour work days outside of the house make for an interesting challenge when meal planning. With D and I working almost complete opposite schedules I never know what may or may not still be in the house to work with when I get home (often going straight for the pantry hoping to not kill a days worth of cautious eating in the process). By now you guys know that I always have a few ingredients almost always on hand--a few varieties of cheeses, a few varieties of vegetables, some basic starches (tortillas, pastas, rice)--and an imagination to continuously whip them up into all sorts of quick weeknight meals better than any drive-thru or take out menu can offer.
This ten minute dinner takes a few quick strokes of a chefs knife, a saute pan and an appetite for something delicious to stick to your ribs. Perfect for the vegetarian, budget cautious, or single girl trying to eat at home a few nights a week (go ahead, pour that glass of vino-you earned it!).
*Panzanella salad is traditionally made with soaked stale bread and tomatoes tossed with oil and vinegar, often onions basil or other vegetables are added in.
Eggplant Panzanella Salad
(serves one hungry working girl, but can easily be adapted for additional servings. Serves 2-3 as a side dish).
- 1/4 eggplant, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 roasted red pepper (or red bell pepper if you have it instead, or even sundried tomatoes), roughly chopped
- ~1/2 cup chopped tomato (or 4-5 cherry tomatoes, quartered)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves finely chopped (I keep a hydro-plant on my windowsill, pick it up in your produce department for about $3.00 )
- 1-2 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled with your hands--because that's the best way to do things.
- 1/4 baguette (I used this left over bread), cubed.
2. Add in the tomatoes and red pepper to the pan, stir and heat through, about 2 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Add in the bread and drizzle with additional 1 tbsp olive oil and cook another 2 minutes (the bread should mop up the juices and the oil and become soft).
3.Turn off the heat, stir in the basil and crumble in the goat cheese.
Best enjoyed with a glass of wine and guilty pleasure television.
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