Friday, May 27, 2011

Eggplant Bruschetta?

9780451233806.jpgDon't Miss Out on Wendy Lyn Watson's Fun Contest:

A Parfait Giveaway

In honor of the June 7 release of A Parfait Murder (the third Mystery a la Mode), which features a story line about the Lantana Round-Up Rodeo Queen Pageant, Wendy is giving away a little cowboy couture:  a leather and rhinestone cuff, and a “rodeo queen” keychain. Eligibility:  This contest is open to everyone living in the U.S. and Canada.  One entry per person, please.
How to Enter:  Send proof of purchase of A Parfait Murder (either a receipt, or a picture of you holding the book, by e-mail to  Put the words “Parfait Giveaway” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on Friday, June 17.  Wendy will randomly select one entry, announce the winner on MLK on Saturday, June 18, and contact that person via e-mail.  If she doesn't get a response within 7 days, she will draw another name. 



As you may remember from last week, I'm working at cross purposes this summer, trying to maintain a low-carb lifestyle for me and my husband while providing vegetarian meals for one of our daughters.  This week I'm attempting to recreate an appetizer we enjoyed at our middle daughter's graduation dinner two weeks ago.

We ordered an eggplant dish, the name of which I cannot remember. All I recall was that it was in Italian and the description sounded good. When it arrived at the table, I thought it looked like bruschetta -- little eggplant ovals topped with sauteed vegetables. 

When we realized that everyone at the table loved it, I decided to try to make it at home. As usual, I'll tell  you the verdict before I give you the recipe. Half of us loved it, half of us liked it. When it came to a vote, the "likers" voted that we *should* make this again, so to my mind, it's a winner. What I'd do next time is probably ease up on the zucchini or switch it out for broccoli (everybody's favorite).

One big caveat: You know how most people eat bruschetta with their fingers? This is not that kind of appetizer. This is a fork and knife moment, for sure. 

Here goes:


One small eggplant, sliced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 small zucchini, cut up
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp oregano
6 oz fresh mozzarella 
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, add garlic and allow to sizzle for a little bit. Add onion, zucchini, and tomato. Stir to cover all veggies with oil. Sprinkle with oregano and stir a bit more. Reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to saute until all veggies are cooked.

In the meantime (and this takes a while), cook eggplant. I've always heard that you're supposed to slice it early and let it drain, but mine didn't drain a bit. I didn't salt it. Maybe I should have.

Anyway, I grilled my eggplant on a George Foreman grill. My eldest daughter (yep, we all got in on this one) decided she didn't want it anymore so it's here until she decides she wants it back. Ha ha.

You can choose to saute your eggplant instead, but I thought that since I had this fun new toy, I'd try it. And it worked out very nicely. Eggplant takes longer than a couple minutes to cook though. I thought maybe 4 - 6 minutes on the grill. Nope. More like 12 minutes.

Okay. Once the eggplant is cooked, place it on foil on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and top with little pieces of fresh mozzarella. On top of this, add spoonfuls of the sauteed veggies.

Place in preheated (350 F) oven for about five minutes. Watch closely. As soon as the mozzarella melts, they're done. 

Use flat spatula to remove from cookie sheet and place on serving platter. 

This makes a better side dish than appetizer, IMHO. You wouldn't want to try to pick one of these up with your fingers!

But they are very good and worth trying. As I said, I'd swap out the zucchini next time. Most of us love mushrooms, so that could make a nice alternative. Or just tomato, onion, and basil, like regular bruschetta. 

Have fun experimenting!

June is an exciting month and it's just around the corner! So many books coming out the same day. Wendy is running a fun contest (see below) to celebrate the launch of A PARFAIT MURDER, and I'm inviting you to my party June 12th! I would love to see you at Centuries & Sleuths that day! Sign up for my newsletter (next issue coming June 7th!) for updates! You can sign up here at my personal blog.

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE received a *Starred Review* from Publishers Weekly, and GRACE INTERRUPTED picks up where that story left off. I hope you'll join Grace, Frances, Bennett, and Jack in their newest adventure!

I tried really hard to get these two book covers to be side by side like my blog sisters do. Alas, no luck. 

They came out looking "almost right," but still a little bit off. So I decided for this 7 -10 split instead LOL

No matter what, I hope you enjoy the covers, and please visit my website: for more.


  1. I love all the different colors in this recipe! And, in the summer, I end up with so much zucchini from neighbors' gardens, that I will probably make it with the zucchini! But experimenting with broccoli would also be fun. Thanks for the recipe, Julie!

  2. HI Julie believe it or not I have never tried Egg Plant I love the color of it. My parents love it. I just took one look and said no when I was younger. Now in my 40's I think it is time to try it. Like Elizabeth said broccoli would be great to try as well. So many possibilities.
    Thanks for sharing and pushing this old lady to try something new.

    Babs Book Bistro

  3. Congratulations on your starred review! That's wonderful, Julie!

    As it happens, I just bought eggplant and zucchini. Couldn't wait for the ones in the garden. ; ) This sounds terrific, and I can't wait to try it. Love your recreations!

    ~ Krista

  4. Eggplant! One of my favorites, and I haven't made it in months. Thanks for the reminder and a deliciously healthy recipe to make good use of it, too. Cheers and congrats on the upcoming 2nd entry in your new series, Julie. Countdown to GRACE INTERRUPTED is ON!

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Elizabeth - I definitely think broccoli would be a good choice. It enjoys "Favored Vegetable Status" around here and will be worth a try!

    Babs - it is beautiful, isn't it? I always marvel at how light in weight eggplants are. They look so solid, with that gorgeous shiny skin. Have fun experimenting!

    Krista - I think cooking is most fun when I'm trying to recreate a dish I've enjoyed elsewhere. I've always been a "What do you think would happen, if...?" person. This one is good, and with a few little tweaks for our personal tastes, could be marvelous.

    Cleo - Thanks so much! I bet you'll have a fun eggplant recipe to share soon. Such an interesting veggie!

  6. I think I'm going to try this on the grill this weekend...if the sun ever decides to return to Michigan, that is...I agree about the zukes, and will go with mushrooms and perhaps asparagus (just got some at the local farmers!!). I love how your reecipes leave lots of room for experimentation, Julie ;-)

  7. Thanks, Nanc!
    Ooh, I'm jealous. Although my husband wouldn't be thrilled with the asparagus, I think that would make a great addition. And the mushrooms... yum! Let us know how it turns out!