Marinated and Grilled Eggplant

1/4 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 big pinch dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh leaves)
3 big cloves garlic-crushed
2 medium eggplant

Slice eggplant. Mix all ingredients of marinade and soak eggplant in it. Be sure all surfaces are covered. Grill slices 8-10 minutes, turning often, until browned and tender.



Baked Eggplant with Feta Cheese

1 large or 2 medium eggplants
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush with olive oil and grill or broil until lightly browned on one side. Turn slices over, brush with oil and brown that side.
3. Arrange slices on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese on slices.
4. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and eggplant slices are soft.
5. Sprinkle fresh chopped basil over the top of eggplant and serve hot.

Baked Eggplant Rounds with Tomato and Mozzarella

This recipe is so easy and makes a fabulous side dish or appetizer.
1 medium eggplant
2 medium slicing tomatoes
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/3 cup shredded parmesan

Slice eggplant into ¼ inch rounds. Brush with olive oil and bake at 400 for about 7 minutes until soft, but not all the way cooked.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the tops with mozzarella and parmesan.
Return to oven and bake another 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning slightly.
Slice tomatoes to ¼ inch thick rounds.
Serve each eggplant round with a slice of tomato on top.


Minestrone Soup

For a minestrone that is more a stew than a soup, use the larger amounts of beans and pasta.Note: These instructions assume the beans or chick peas are already cooked. You can soak and cook your own, or use canned (well rinsed and well drained).

 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
5 medium cloves garlic,
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 stalk celery, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
small zucchini, diced and/or 1 cup diced eggplant
1 teaspoon oregano
fresh black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon basil
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3 to 4 cups (or more) water
1 – 14.5 oz. can tomato purée (approx. 2 cups)
1 to 1-1/2 cups cooked pea beans, chick peas, or kidney beans
1/2 to 1 cup dry pasta (any shape)
1 or 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, diced (optional)
1/2 cup freshly minced parsley
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add celery, carrot, eggplant (if using zucchini, add it later, with the bell pepper), oregano, black pepper, and basil. Cover and cook over very low heat about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add bell pepper, zucchini, water, and tomato purée. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add beans and simmer another 5 minutes.
Bring soup to a gentle boil. Add pasta, stir, and cook until the pasta is tender. Stir in the diced fresh tomatoes, and serve right away, topped with parsley and Parmesan.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Eggplant Parmesan

2 Medium eggplants
¾ cups milk
2 cups fine bread crumbs
1 tsp basil
½ tsp each: oregano & thyme
1 jar Italian tomato sauce
1 lb grated mozzarella
½ cup parmesan

-Pre-heat oven to 375 and lightly oil a baking tray and a 9×13 pan.
-Cut eggplant into ½ inch rings.
-Dip rings in milk, the in bread crumbs until coated, then place in the baking dish and pan in a single layer. Bake until tender, about 20 minutes
-Remove eggplant from the 9×13 pan and spread a little tomato sauce on the bottom.
-Add a layer of eggplant slices, sauce, then mozzarella cheese and repeat the layering until you run out of ingredients. Make sure to have enough cheese to top it all off.
-Sprinkle top with parmesan and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until it is heated through and bubbly around the edges.
-Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.