It’s time for a quick reminder for La Festa al Fresco being hosted by yours truly and the lovely Lis of La Mia Cucina. As you may recall, Lis and I need your assistance to fill our table with as much incredible food as possible. The only stipulation is that you bring a dish that features a fresh summer ingredient. It doesn’t have to be an Italian dish. Just be sure to e-mail us the link to your post before September 5th, 2006. You can e-mail Lis at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can e-mail me at email@example.com.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share a dish with you that was provided by a dear reader of mine, Diane. While Diane doesn’t have her own blog (I think she should), she’s been kind enough to share a treasured recipe that was taught to her by a Sardinian gentleman named Aldo, hence the name, Le Melanzane d’Aldo (in Italian eggplant is "melanzana" in the singular and "melanzane" in the plural).
Here in Ontario, eggplant season has arrived. We have four plants of our own that have been gracing us with a number of beautiful little purple eggplants which my mother has been using for pepperonata or for her stuffed eggplant. So this is definitely the time to make this dish. While it cooked, you could smell the aroma of roasting eggplant, bell peppers and garlic throughout the kitchen. It was delightful. We enjoyed the dish as a main course accompanied by crusty bread, hunks of parmigiano and lots of hearty red wine.
Diane, thank you so much for offering this dish to us for La Festa al Fresco!
Recipe courtesy of Diane.
- 1 large American eggplant (or 3 Italian eggplants)
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic
- Â½ cup fruity olive oil
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the eggplant into Â½-inch cubes. Cut the bell peppers into Â½-inch squares. Mix them in a large ceramic bowl.
- Add 2 to 3 cloves of finely minced garlic and the finely chopped Italian parsley. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Then add the olive oil and mix together with a large spoon.
- Bake uncovered in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The eggplant should be tender, but not mushy.
- Once the eggplant is tender, remove the bowl from the oven and allow to cool, stirring twice during the cooling. Once the dish is cool, taste test to determine if more salt is required.
- With a slotted spoon, place the eggplant in a ceramic serving dish or pie plate. Garnish with parsley. Serve at room temperature.
Note: Diane recommends that leftovers be mixed with cooked fusilli pasta and a bit of pesto sauce for a wonderful side dish. Diane also suggests adding chile flakes to the dish if you prefer a spicier taste.