Friday’s Flavors: Baked Tomato And Eggplant Caprese

Hi, Foodies! Happy Friday!

Sometimes, inspiration just strikes like a bolt of lightening. Other times, it happens because you have food on hand that you don’t want to waste. This recipe was born from one of those times.

I brought home a beautiful graffiti eggplant because, even though I already had a vegetable I was supposed to cook with dinner, I’m weak when it comes to pretty veggies! I also had a tomato threatening to die in the vegetable drawer and a lovely block of smoked mozzarella that came with a cheese basket we were gifted for Christmas. Put them all together and a new favorite recipe is born!

Great as an appetizer, vegetable, or salad course!

Ingredients:

1 eggplant

1 tomato

mozzarella chesse

about 1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves crushed garlic

fresh basil

seasoning

optional: balsamic drizzle

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and slice eggplant and tomato.

Mix crushed garlic with about a half cup of olive oil (you can always add more) and seasoning. I used Nature’s Seasoning because it’s a flavorful combination and saves time, but the staples are salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Dip eggplant and tomato slices into olive oil mixture coating well (use that garlic!), and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove baking sheet and place a thin slice of mozzarella on eggplant slices. Put tomato slices on top of cheese and eggplant, then top with another thin slice of cheese.

Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with fresh basil. Serve.

It’s great as it is, but drizzling a little balsamic glaze takes this recipe to an entirely new level!

If you try it, please let me know if you like it!

Check back next Friday for another Foodie Flavor!

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Greek Salad

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

gsI don’t know about you, but I love a good salad, especially a Greek salad. That said, with the number of lettuce recalls over the last few years, I’ve started making most of my salads without lettuce. And while I’ve learned to be rather creative, peeling zucchinis into ‘lettuce’ strips and shaving fennel, Greek salad seems to lend itself naturally to a lettuce free version. Besides that, this recipes is incredibly quick and easy!

This recipe serves makes 2 servings.

 

Ingredients (for the salad):

1 ripe tomato

1 cucumber

1 small red onion

sliced Kalamata olives

capers

feta cheese

optional: caper berries

Ingredients (for the dressing):

1/8 cup (1/2)  lemon

1/8 cup olive oil

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1-2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons sugar

1-2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper (or Nature’s Seasoning) to taste

Preparation:

gs1For the salad, chop the tomato, cucumber, and onion. Mix in a bowl with sliced Kalamata olives and drained capers. Top with feta cheese and the optional caper berries.

For the dressing, everything is to taste. Some like a sharper flavor, some a milder, so you do you!

Juice half a large lemon in a measuring cup (you should get about 1/8 cup lemon juice). I juice the lemon first because it makes removing the lemon seeds easy.

Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, pressed garlic and salt and pepper or Nature’s Seasoning to taste. Stir ingredients together with a fork.

The sugar helps curb the acidic nature of the lemon and vinegar, balancing the flavor nicely, but a little goes a long way. It’s easier to add more than take it out, so start sparingly, stirring and tasting as you go until you get the balance you want.

Dress the salad, and viola, it’s as easy as that. A delicious salad and home made dressing in less than 10 minutes!

As always, if you try it, please let me know how you liked it!

 

Mediterranean Zucchini Salad

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Zucchini. A member of the summer squash family that is low in calories, a good source of fiber and potassium, contains a decent amount of antioxidants, and a bunch of other healthy benefits.

So why wasn’t I eating it more?

Because all the recipes I knew for zucchini were time consuming and labor intensive.

But . . .  zucchinis are great. If you do all your shopping for the week in one trip (like I try to do) zucchinis are one of those vegetables that stay fresh until the end of the week. So I came up with this simple recipe that turned zucchini into a quick and tasty option.

Ingredients:

  • zucchini
  • sweet white onion
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • feta cheese

I throw together a quick salad dressing of:

  • olive oil
  • rice wine vinegar
  • honey or Dijon mustard
  • pepper
  • Nature’s Seasoning
  • basil leaves

mixed to taste.

I use a Tupperware bowl because I always make enough for leftovers (this has become a favorite in my house). I use 2 large zucchini, which makes enough for about 4 servings.

First, mix the dressing or open salad dressing of your choice, chop the onions and sun-dried tomatoes, wash the zucchini and remove the rind. Then, drizzle some dressing in the bottom of the bowl and grate 1/2 of the first zucchini into the bowl using a vegetable peeler. Add a handful of onions, a sprinkling of tomatoes, some feta, and another drizzle of dressing. Repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients, making three or four layers. Then add put the lid on the bowl (tightly) and shake every direction and upside down. Voila! Zucchini ready to eat in less than 10 minutes!

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