Early Sunday Dinner from Garden to Table

Love Life and Lollipops- Eggplant Dinner

Sometimes the simplest meals are the best, like this one prepared predominantly from freshly grown veggies from my parents' garden. Richie and me and my family were all in Boston this past weekend for a wedding.  The wedding was beautiful and exploring a bit before and after in Boston was superfun.  I promise to post more on our Boston excursions and experiences tomorrow.

After brunch on Sunday we all packed into the car and headed to my parents' house in CT.  We got there in the early afternoon and immediately threw on some bathing suits for a swim.  On Friday before we left, we had agreed to stay for dinner Sunday night for the annual harvesting of tomatoes and eggplants and cooking up of some Eggplant Parm (vegan this year of course).

Liza made the eggplant and my dad made his famous sauce (I really just stood around and did their dirty work...chopping, cleaning, the such).

Below are some pics and the recipes from each of them:

The mandolin is the perfect tool for slicing eggplant superthin for vegan fried eggplant!

Eggplant Parm:

Serves 2 people.

Harvest one large white (preferably, purple if white isn't available) eggplant.

Using a mandolin, cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/8" slices (you can do this without a mandolin if you don't have one, but a mandolin makes this process amazingly quick and simple).

Take out 2 plates and fill one with soy milk and the other with whole wheat flour. (We didn't add egg replacer to the soy milk, but next time I'm going to try to add one egg's worth to see what that does...).

In a pan heat 1/4" deep olive oil until very hot.  Add a pinch of refined sea salt to the oil.

Coat the eggplant on each side with soy milk then flour shaking off any extra flour so the eggplant is just evenly coated.

Then place 3-4 pieces of the coated eggplant in the hot oil (it should sizzle considerably).

Cook until browned then flip to coat the other side.

Place the hot eggplant on a plate with paper towel then into a warmer tray or oven on the lowest temperature to keep it warm while you finish the batch.

Serve with tomato sauce (recipe below) on top and whole wheat pasta on the side.

The secret is in the tomato sauce!  Vegan, organic, fresh!

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce:

Makes enough for 2-4 people (but I suggest doubling this recipe as it is a good one for a larger group and a lot of work for 2 people)

Harvest 2 lbs of tomatoes from the garden and bring them inside and give them a rinse.

Bring a pot of water to boil then blanch the tomatoes for up to a minute.

Drop the tomatoes into a bowl of ice water then take them out to peel them (with your fingers, it should be pretty easy to do).

Remove the stems then drain the tomatoes of juice and seeds.  You want to be left with only flesh.

Dice the tomatoes into small pieces and set aside.

Put 1/2 cup olive oil into a pot and heat on medium heat.

Slice 8 cloves of garlic thinly and cook in the oil with 1 medium diced onion until they are browned and a bit carmelized.

Then add the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped oregano and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped hot pepper along with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix and simmer until cooked down by 1/4 and serve hot.

Remember to put the hot pasta in the sauce, not the other way around.  Also, don't rinse the pasta with water while draining.  You want the starch of the pasta to help stick the sauce.