This might be the perfect time to bring on something new to round out our from-the-barbecue meals, so let’s not hold off.
The first recipe is a classic Italian thing that’s not only a good go-with now, but will see us through an entire year. It’s great as a side with steaks, chops, chicken or fish, or, rounded out with a salad and some crusty bread, it can stand on its own as a meatless main dish. Creator of this recipe is chef Heather Hunsaker at www.foodonthetable.com.
Now for a salad that can be served any time of the year, but is especially good right now (or should be any minute) with our luscious ripe homegrown tomatoes and homegrown green beans.
The good folks at Spice Islands call for feta cheese in this concoction, but diced mozzarella or pepper jack cheese are the choice at my house.
Classic eggplant Parmesan
1cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
1/3cup Parmesan cheese
2medium eggplant, washed, patted dry and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2cups marinara sauce, bottled or homemade
1cup grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, mixing well. Dip the sliced eggplant in the beaten eggs, then in the bread crumb mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the prepared eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove eggplant from the oven and top each piece with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce and 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Makes 4 servings.
Fresh summer bean and tomato salad
1pound fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
1cup chopped, seeded roma tomatoes
1cup halved grape tomatoes
3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
11/2tablespoons balsamic vinegar, white preferred
1/4teaspoon stone-ground mustard
2tablespoons Italian herb seasoning or pesto seasoning
1/2teaspoon garlic powder
1/8teaspoon fine-grind black pepper
1/4cup crumbled feta cheese
Blanch green beans by boiling in water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Place the roma and grape tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Stir in the herb or pesto seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper, mixing well. Pour vinaigrette over tomatoes and stir. Add cooled beans and toss gently to mix. Top with feta cheese. Serve immediately. (Or, if necessary, cover and refrigerate briefly.)
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