It was a long day. Everyone was up too early and cranky. I knew The pizza I had started for dinner (chicken parm with onions and peppers and homemade sauce and pesto with grilled eggplant, hot Italian sausage, roasted tomatoes, and red pepper) wouldn’t be done in time for the kids and that I couldn’t wait until after they were in bed. So I had a little feast. The only thing missing was Alexa, and maybe a nice baguette. I made do with decent crackers.
My spread included grilled eggplant, white bean and roasted tomato spread, aged gouda from Trader Joe’s, and sausage. I dipped everything, except the cheese in the spread and layered things on crackers and sipped a glass of wine. I listened to Indigo Girls and remembered simpler times. I put the pizzas together around feeding too kids and holding one, then the other. It was a simple little late afternoon feast that was lovely at the end of a long day, but would have been better with company.
Technically, it’s not grilled, though you could
Slice eggplant on the diagonal. Sprinkle with coarse salt and layer between paper towels. Weigh it all down (a full tea kettle on top of a towel works nicely for this). Let sit for an hour or overnight.
Remove the weight and blot off any liquid beading on the eggplant.
Coat the bottom of a cookie sheet with olive oil. Spread the eggplant and drizzle with a little more olive oil. (Sometimes I sprinkle this with crushed red pepper flakes too.) Put into a 350 degree oven until the eggplant starts to brown slightly on the edges.
Cool and eat or store. Mine have been in the fridge for about a week and were still good. They are particularly good on pesto pizza.
White Bean–Roasted Tomato Spread
Drain and rinse can of cannellini beans. Put in a mini food processor with about a cup of roasted tomatoes and some of their oil. Process until smooth. Spread on bread or crackers or use as a dip with veggies (like grilled eggplant).