Last week a friend called asking if we could use some produce. The frost was coming and they still had plum tomatoes, peppers and eggplants coming on. Would I ever say no to the freshy freshest of tomatoes? No way! Many thanks to Elise and her family for the ingredients for this gorgeous bounty!
I began with a fresh tomato sauce. If you’ve never had fresh sauce, it is so easy to make, and just incredibly delicious. Begin by cutting the tomatoes. These were smallish Romas, so I cut them into quarters. If they are large, then cut them into a nice chunky dice. Put a few tablespoons of good olive oil in a pan, and chop up 2-3 cloves of garlic and throw it in, saute for a minute or two and then add the tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Allow that to cook for about 10 minutes. Once the tomatoes seem to be breaking down, you can throw in a few tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs like basil and oregano.
While the sauce simmered, I cooked some Farfalle pasta that I had, and then I pounded a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they were about 1/4″ thick overall. It made the breasts huge, so I was able to cut them into thirds and stretch the portions! These were simply seasoned with salt and pepper, brushed with a little olive oil and put on the grill.
I also got started grilling the eggplant. Nothing fancy, just sliced it about 1/4″ thick, brushed it with olive oil and put it on a hot grill for about 4 minutes on each side. It was nicely browned, a little char on it, but not too much.
Now it was ready to plate! I layered two slices of eggplant, then a piece of chicken, two more slices of eggplant and then a slice of fresh Buffalo mozzarella. Top it all off with a nice big ladle full of fresh sauce and some fresh basil!
This was so wonderfully fresh and delicious. Dinner came together in about 30 minutes and was spectacular. All three of my children and my husband devoured it!
This is my homage to the bounty of a late summer garden!