Beautiful summer dinner, and a lovely option for gluten-free and vegetarian folks. The eggplant provides a meaty feel for a well-rounded dish.
FOR THE GREENS
1 bunch kale trimmed and washed
4 cups washed arugula
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Cloves garlic, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE TOMATO CONFIT
4 cups grape tomatoes halved
3 Tbsp garlic olive oil (or 3 Tbsp olive oil with 2 cloves pressed garlic)
1 Tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tsp salt, 1 Tsp pepper
6 basil leaves
FOR THE EGGPLANT
1 large graffiti eggplant cut into ½ inch rounds
Olive oil drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup rice or spelt flour
½ cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 egg beaten well
Additional olive oil for pan frying
Grated parm for garnish (about 5 Tbsp)
Prep the kale and arugula by chopping into bite size pieces, and set aside. Prep the tomatoes by slicing and have garlic cloves on hand. Gently slice the basil and set aside.
Ready a large pan over medium with olive oil for the kale and arugula. Add the halved garlic cloves and let simmer for 1 minute. Add the kale and continue to cook over medium heat. Once the kale has reduced in size by half, add the arugula. Cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, adding salt and pepper to taste. Once the greens are fully cooked, keep them on stove top over VERY LOW heat to keep warm. Continue to stir every few minutes.
While the greens cook, ready a medium pan for the tomato confit. Do so by heating the olive oil and red pepper flakes over medium heat for 2 minutes. Once the olive oil has warmed and red pepper flakes become fragrant, add the tomatoes, followed by salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, slowly stirring allowing the tomatoes to soak up olive oil and garlic flavor. Reduce heat if tomatoes start to reduce too quickly. Before serving, add half the basil to the tomato confit.
While the tomatoes are cooking sprinkle the eggplant rounds with salt, pepper and olive oil. The next step requires a large nonstick or cast iron pan. Cover the bottom of the large pan in olive oil. While oil is heating, mix the flour with the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl, and beat the egg in a medium bowl.
To fry the eggplant: One by one coat the round in egg, transfer immediately into the flour/breadcrumb mixture followed by the hot oil pan. Repeat with each round. Fry one side one for about 3-4 minutes before flipping and doing the same to side two. The oil should be hot, but not burning. Depending on pan size and number of eggplant rounds, you may have to do two batches of oil/frying. When fried to desired crispiness remove from pan and set on a plate covered in parchment paper. Sprinkle all rounds with grated parmesan.
To plate the dish: Place a large scoop of greens onto a round plate. Scatter lightly with grated parmesan. Place two eggplant rounds atop the kale. Cover in tomatoes and garnish with remaining basil. Add additional parmesan or mozzarella cheese if desired. ENJOY!!
Ali Price is a Root 5 Farm CSA member and local food educator. She provides group and private cooking lessons to folks in the Upper Valley. She is also an aspiring Health Coach and born and raised veggie lover.
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