26 June 2010 – Riccioli with grilled eggplant and red peppers, and feta; avocado salad

I grilled these herbed eggplants on pizza night, cooking the entire, large eggplant at once, and planning ahead for this meal. I neglected to buy and grill extra red peppers, though, so had to get another for this dinner.

I bought Bulgarian feta for this pasta (which the package says is (are?) Riccioli) but I think I should have gotten French or Greek. Bulgarian is unsophisticated and opinionated – just perfect for pizzas – but I think it was a bit too strong and unsubtle for this use. I started by sauteeing some large onion chunks slowly, then added the diced eggplant and cut up red peppers to heat them. I tossed the cooked riccioli with these, then added crumbled feta.

The salad was another nice avocado with olives from the Bowl – same mixed set as previously – with my current favorite dressing of Basil and Garlic Grapeseed Oil from Chateau St. Jean, with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. All over red leaf lettuce.

The wine was one the Bowl had marked “staff pick” otherwise… well, would we have bought it or not? Only $14.99, and a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, but also: beautiful. My prejudice, and D’s, is that the more eye-catching the label/bottle, the less good the wine per unit cost. It’s a corollary of the “restaurants with a view are overpriced” rule. But this one was really, really good. We’re going to buy more of it. I’m pretty sure we already did, actually, when we went on Sunday (“tomorrow” – I’m writing this Tuesday evening). Isn’t that an elegant bottle?

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