Eggplant Timaballo with Tuscan kale salad
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped pinch of red pepper flakes 3 sprigs fresh basil salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 28 oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (or 2 cans of you want some leftover sauce…I certainly do!) 1 tablespoon butter, for greasing
2 eggplants, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices flour, for dredging vegetable oil, for frying
12-16 oz short pasta, such as short penne 1 4-6 oz ball mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 3/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated 10 oz cooked frozen peas
Make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sweat the vegetables (avoid browning) for 7-8 minutes until soft and aromatic, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, with their juices, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, continually breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. (Alternatively, you can use kitchen sheers to cut the tomatoes while they are still in the can.) After the sauce simmers, use a food processor or an immersion blender (much easier) to buzz everything together until you have a smooth consistency.
Meanwhile, fry the eggplant. Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, tapping of the excess. Heat about 1/3 inch of oil in 1 or 2 large frying pans over high heat. Fry the eggplant slices in batches until golden, turning halfway through (tongs are a good tool to flip these guys over). Drain the eggplant slices on layers of paper towels to absorb the oil. Discard the oil in the pan after every 3 batches, or until you see burnt flour on the bottom, and then heat a new layer of oil again before cooking a fresh batch. As the eggplants finish frying, scatter them with a little salt.
Make the filling. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Drop in the pasta and cook until al dente. Important to undercook the pasta slightly, as it will continue to cook in the oven, which you can go ahead and preheat to 350°F. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups or so of the tomato sauce, along with the mozzarella, parmesan, peas, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix together.
Assemble the timballo. Butter an ovenproof dish, bowl, or pan measuring 8-10 inches wide and about 2-3 inches deep. Line the edges of the greased pan with overlapping eggplant slices, allowing them to hang over the sides of the dish. Line the bottom with smaller eggplant slices. Pour in the pasta mixture and then lay over the remaining slices of eggplants in the center. Fold the eggplant slices around the edge into the center so that the pasta is completely enclosed and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the eggplant is well browned. Allow the timballo to set before serving, about 10 minutes.
Serve. To invert the timallo, hold a board or serving plate over the top of it and quickly invert. Serve cut into wedges with a Tuscan kale salad (recipe below).
Tuscan kale salad (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home)
2 bunches Tuscan (lacinato) kale, thick stems removed 2 garlic cloves, minced 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan large handful pine nuts (or sliced almonds), toasted
Shred the kale. Layer individual leaves in batches and slice very thinly crosswise to create shreds.
Prepare the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let stand at least 5 minutes (or up to 1 hour) to allow the garlic to permeate the dressing.
Assemble the salad. In a large salad bowl, add the shredded kale and toss with the dressing and grated parmesan. Serve on salad plates (or simply alongside the timballo), topped with several toasted pine nuts.
WARM EGGPLANT, MUSHROOM AND KALE SALAD
A delicious warm eggplant, mushroom and kale salad with tangy goat cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette. It’s the perfect side dish for cold weather! (gluten-free, vegetarian)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
Category: salad, side dish
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large eggplant
1 pint cremini mushrooms
4 large leaves of kale
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp honey
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Cut eggplant into uniform 1 inch cubes. Toss with 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil and spread onto one of the cookie sheets. Wash mushrooms and cut each in half. Toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and add to cookie sheet with eggplant.
Roughly chop kale into uniform pieces and toss with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Spread onto other cookie sheet.
Roast kale 10 minutes or until crispy but not burned. Roast eggplant and mushrooms 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Let vegetables cool slightly before handling.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: In a small saucepan, and garlic, balsamic, oil and honey. Heat on low until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove garlic cloves and stir in cracked pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine roasted vegetables, dressing, walnuts, goat cheese, and thyme. Gently stir and serve immediately.
Kale Salad With Oranges, Carrots And Sunflower Seeds
Prep time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
1 bunch of Kale, about 1 pound
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Carrot
2 Navel Oranges
1 small Shallot, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
Clean, remove tough stems and coarsely chop the kale. Add to a very large bowl and rub the leaves down with olive oil and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Peel and julienne the carrot and add to the kale. Section the oranges over a bowl and squeeze the juice from the remaining membrane. Strain into another bowl and add the orange sections to the kale, reserving the juice.
In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, oregano, apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the reserved orange juice. Pour over the kale and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in sunflower seeds before serving.
Bananas with Orange and Rum Caramel
Total: 15 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 bananas, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white rum
1/4 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed from 1 orange)
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
2 pints vanilla ice cream
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the bananas in the butter, cut side down. Pour the sugar around the bananas and let it cook until it starts to caramelize, moving the bananas around a bit to ensure even browning.
Remove the skillet from heat; add in the rum, and orange juice. Return the skillet to heat and let reduce for a minute. Turn the bananas and let the juices reduce for another minute.
Remove the skillet from heat and swirl in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Serve the bananas in shallow bowls drizzled with the caramel pan sauce. Top with orange segments and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Curried Kale and Plantain with Basmati Rice
2 cups Basmati Rice, brown 4 cups Water
1 lb Onions 5-6 Garlic cloves 1 lb Carrots 2 ½ - 3 lbs Kale, fresh or frozen 8 - 10 Plantains, ripe 1-15oz can Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) 1 cup Raisins ½ cup Walnut Pieces 1 Tbsp Cumin 1 Tbsp Paprika 1 Tbsp Turmeric 1½ Tsp Cinnamon ¼ Tsp (or to taste) Cayenne Pepper
We prepare this recipe in a stainless steel, electric wok.
In a saucepot, bring 4 cups of water to boiling on the stovetop. Add 2 cups of basmati rice (we use brown basmati rice). Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until water is absorbed.
Chop by hand or by food processor the washed kale and the cleaned and peeled onions, garlic, and carrots.
Place in a heated wok with a cup of water (no oil), and stir. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender. Add additional water as needed.
Peel and cut plantains in bite-sized pieces. Add to the wok and continue stir-frying until the plantains are tender. Add additional water as needed.
Reduce the heat to about 250 degrees F. Add the drained chickpeas, raisins, walnut pieces, and seasonings and mix well.
Add the cooked basmati rice. Continue to stir until flavors are blended. Add a small amount of water, as needed.
Quinoa with Roasted Eggplant, Kale and Mushrooms
This hearty combination of quinoa, roasted eggplant, sautéed mushrooms and kale makes a delicious meatless meal that’s easy and quick to prepare.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 bunch kale (about 3/4 lb)
2 small eggplants (1/2 to 3/4 lb each), peeled and cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups quinoa
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup water
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
8 ounces cremini (or white) mushrooms, sliced
2 to 3 scallions, sliced
Preheat the oven to 425°F and coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Remove the stems from the kale, tear it into bite-sized pieces, wash, dry well and set aside.
Place the eggplant cubes in a large bowl, drizzle with a small amount olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast until tender and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the eggplant roasts, rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine strainer, drain and transfer it to a saucepan. Add the chicken broth, water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender and all the liquid has been a