Saturday, September 13, 2008

Arugula and Eggplant--A Marriage Made in Heaven

First, I have to apologize for no pictures. This was beautiful, but it disappeared in a flurry of flying forks before I got the camera out. This is another recipe that came from efforts to combine and use the CSA bounty. We got more eggplant this week, along with a new treat--arugula. I love arugula, and I'd forgotten how much. If you want to have your taste buds send thank you notes, toast a whole wheat English muffin, spread with some cream cheese, and top with a roasted red pepper half and some arugula. But I digress. This particular harvest burst with the earthy heat this green is known for. I started looking around at what I had in the cupboard and the refrigerator, checking out the crisper drawer, and digging deep for inspiration.

Ratatouille came to mind, but it just sounded like more work than I was interested in. I knew I liked the preparation of the eggplant I used in the stir-fry with the ginger-pepper sauce, as it resulted in a nice, meaty texture. I wanted to try that again. What else did I have? Half a bag of bow-tie pasta. A container of roasted grape tomatoes. Pine nuts. Onions from the CSA. So, I put on a pot of water to come to a boil for the pasta, sliced up the eggplant and got it in a skillet, then let inspiration take it from there.

One important step is the deglazing of the pan once the eggplant, onions, and red peppers are finished. I used a dry white wine, which added a nice undertone to the finished dish, but I'm sure you could use white grape juice, apple juice, vegetable broth, or another liquid of your liking just as successfully.

In the end, it only took about half an hour to complete the Ratatouille Pasta Toss and sit down to dinner. For now, there's nothing left but the memories.

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