I originally thought I’d make a pizza tonight, but we decided to put off making bread till Sunday morning, which left two breadless dinners, so I had a choice of what to do when. The Bowl has had bags of four sweet red peppers – looking quite good – for 89 cents/pound, so that was in the back of my mind. Not sure how I settled on this recipe, which I have made a few times before, but that played a big role. The recipe is from the big brown Weber cookbook, which I think is called Real Grilling.
The recipe starts with a red pepper puree: First, you grill red peppers (2 med, for the whole recipe) to blacken their skin on all sides. I do this on high, with a cover over the peppers so they cook overall, rather than just where the flame hits them. When they are blackened, you stick them into a sealed container so they continue to cook (steam) for 15 minutes. You peel the blackened skin off with your fingers (easy!), open the peppers and remove the seeds and any ribs, and then put them into a food processor with 1 Tbsp good olive oil, a generous 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Process till smooth. This is a terrific sauce, that can be used on an omelette or pizza, for example.
Other prep includes getting out prosciutto and preparing the fresh mozz. You are making 2 “sandwiches” per person for a dinner serving, so for two, 4 thin slices of prosciutto. One ball of fresh mozarella is sufficient (4.4 oz), though I think that the premium Gustosella buffalo mozz (which I used) is wasted on this recipe. I’ve previously used a very plain cow’s milk mozz that costs $3.99 for 8 oz, and is not in brine, and it worked quite well. The only other thing is basil leaves – allegedly one per “sandwich,” but obviously that depends on how big the leaves are. I used multiple small leaves for this and it worked well. Ready for the eggplant…
Ideally, the eggplant should be one diameter all the way down. Obviously, this is not going to happen, but it would be good to choose one that was closer to uniform than I did! Two slices per sandwich, four per person: brush with olive oil and grill on medium (perhaps hotter? it worked last time but this time they were not as done as I’d like). Four slices are grilled on one side (the larger four) and the others are grilled on both sides, perhaps 3ish minutes per side. The half-grilled ones are on the bottom, and the sandwich is built on these, with the ungrilled sides down, in anticipation of the final grilling process. About 1 Tbsp of red pepper puree is spread on the bottom eggplant…
… and is then topped with a prosciutto slice, 1/4 of the cheese, and basil leaves, and finally the doubly-grilled slice of eggplant. These are lifted onto the grill and grilled, covered, for 2-4 minutes, till the bottom eggplant is done and the cheese has melted nicely.
I pulled out an old box of Kashi Pilaf (not really a pilaf, as I understand a pilaf) which has 7 whole grains plus sesame seeds. It’s totally easy: water:Kashi 2:1, boil the water, add the Kashi, cook on medium 25 minutes. It has an excellent texture and a delicious taste.
D and I were both thinking of the same wine for this meal – our Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I’ve got so many pictures of it I decided it didn’t need to face the camera this time 🙂 We get this at Costco for $11.49, which is really a good price for this wine.