Eggplant has been looking and tasting good at the roadside stands this summer. Roasting brings out the slight sweetness of the vegetable and reduces the astringency of eggplant, which has the unfortunate honor of being in the top three of least liked veggies when I tally my client preferences. The others are brussels sprouts and lima beans, but I always figure that someday folks will have their epiphany and decide these are loved and enjoyed after all. One can always hope.
For several years, my client menus have included something I like to call Summer’s Bounty Vegetable Bake with Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce and Cheeses. That’s a mouthful, both literally and figuratively. It’s my homage to farmer’s market and roadside stand vegetables, roasted and nestled between layers of meaty tomato sauce and gooey cheese. For my vegetarian clients, the dish is made without sausage and substituted with nuts. For a vegan version, there are some tasty soy based products that perform like sliced mozzarella and various vegan parmesan-like sprinkles found at local natural markets. Continue reading →