Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eggplant Spiedini


I have been waiting for eggplant to arrive in the CSA box, and it finally did!

I had this at Festa Italiana a few weeks ago. Actually, I had it twice. I tried some my parents ordered and then went back later in the day and had another plate of this for dinner. I brought a plate of it to Paul for his dinner that night too. I came home and found this recipe...then all I had to do was wait for eggplant arrival.

The day we were at Festa was one of those perfect summer days in Wisconsin. Few clouds...low humidity..lots of sunshine. The highlight of the day (besides the spiedini) was that we saw THE CAKE BOSS. And...not only did we see him....but we were front and center; he was as entertaining in person as he is on TV. The Italian flag throwers weren't there this year...and they are a highlight, but now this meal just may be my favorite thing when I return to the festival next year.

I had onions from the CSA box, so I used those as well as CSA parsley and eggs.

When making this I tried to decrease the fat a bit by not frying the eggplant but rather baking the slices until soft....like 400 degrees for 10 minutes or so. I omitted the pine nuts too. The link above takes you to the original recipe which is probably what I had since the recipe comes from the restaurant making the spiedini at Festa. Since my eggplant wasn't very big I decided to make this a bit more like eggplant Parmesan without breading each eggplant slice. I layered the sauce, baked eggplant and breadcrumb mixture. I did have to run to the store to get another jar of spaghetti sauce because it seemed a bit dry....must be all those breadcrumbs? I did layer a few tomatoes from our garden over the eggplant thinking/hoping it would add some moisture to the dish. Anyway, I just layered everything and baked it....it was fine this way for an at home meal.

I have to admit that I bought spaghetti sauce to use in this. That isn't usually what I would do but it is what worked this day. Hey, sometimes it's good to do something a little different!

I'm still a bit confused about the name of this dish......hmmm...thought spiedini was more like a skewer or a kabob. Even if I made this dish exactly like the recipe I can't imagine it on a skewer. Oh well, whatever this was...eggplant parm....spiedini....casserole...hot dish...it was good! It made quite a few meals since it's so filling, so we'll be eating this for much of the week. I think that next time I will plan to make half the recipe in the link.

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