We went out to Marchesi Vineyards yesterday for a meeting about the trip. Y’know, the trip that’s in two weeks? The meeting involved meeting a lot of the people going on the trip [a totally fun and interesting group!], going over a more detailed itinerary, answering a lot of really basic questions regarding international travel, listening to Andrew blow minds with his awesome Italian speaking skills, and partaking in several bottles of prosecco and wine, eggplant parmesan, prosciutto and melon, caprese, salad, and foccacia. Stuffed was an understatement. It was a primer of the food and drink that we’re going to be gorging on through the small towns between Milan and Rome.
I. Cannot. Wait.
We’re seriously getting red carpet treatment from the wine producers and tasting in some amazing cellars, castles [yes, you read that right!], and personal homes of these people. When we’re done tasting, we may have a meal at these places, or we’ll head to a fabulous restaurant that will complement these amazing wines. Holy. Cow. If that isn’t enough, there is a prosciutto factory tour [and tasting, naturally] and a cooking class among other things. I’m beside myself. Don’t be surprised if I never come home. It’s a
Here’s another eggplant dish we ate a few weeks back. It was one of those things where I saw it on a blog, and needed to make it immediately. It’s basically a pork and veggie laden meatloaf stuffed inside an eggplant and roasted into delicious oblivion. No, roasted and stuffed eggplant isn’t pretty, but it sure tastes good. I’m willing to endure a saggy eggplant in the name of flavor. The original recipe called for a sweet potato, and since we all know SOMEONE can’t deal with them, I swapped it out for for a rutabaga. These are the things I’m willing to do. Aren’t I nice? My cheese of choice was Gruyere for the topping. As usual half of it was eaten before it even made it to the dish. Cheese is such a weakness.
Inspiration: La Tartine Gourmande
- Two medium sized eggplant
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 small carrot, shredded
- 1/2 of a rutabaga, shredded
- 15oz can of chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1/2lb ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1oz gruyere, shredded
- cracked pepper
- Slice the eggplant in half and scoop out the flesh. I used a combo of a spoon and a fork to get it out.
- Sprinkle the insides with salt, and turn them over on a flat surface while you make the filling.
- Keep 1/2cup of the flesh, chop it, and set it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375º and prepare a baking pan [I lined a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat and called it a day].
- In a large frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the shallot, coriander, and cumin.
- After two minutes, add the garlic.
- After one minute, add the carrot and rutabaga.
- In three to four minutes, add the tomato and a healthy application of salt and pepper.
- Add the eggplant flesh after another three to four minutes.
- When the vegetables look soft, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Stir in the meat, 3/4 of the cheese, and egg.
- Stuff the eggplant, and place in your prepared baking pan.
- Top with the remaining cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and pour a little bit of water in your dish.
- Bake the eggplant for an hour or until the cheese is starting to turn colors and is bubbly.
Serves 2 or 4 with additional sides.