Eggplant & Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
Bruschetta is one of my very favorite summertime snacks (or rather, meals. as a few of these little toasts is a complete meal for me). I make bruschetta as soon as I have a couple freshly ripe tomatoes from the garden and then over and over and over again throughout the late summer tomato season, savoring every bite, each time I make it. Sometimes I do have leftover tomato mixture from my bruschetta … then I store my extra bruschetta in the fridge and either enjoy it later over toast or I make bruschetta soup out of it.
Bruschetta is super simple and the perfect way to really savor the flavor of those oh-so-sweet and juicy garden tomatoes. Adding roasted eggplant to the mix makes it heartier and more filling … with a little buttery flavor. Did you know eggplant can taste like butter? I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but it’s definitely true for me and my sister … and it’s why we adore eggplant soooo much. Healthy and hearty and buttery tasting … seriously, how can you NOT fall in love with that?
But … I am a little sad about the photos for this post because I actually made this bruschetta a couple days ago. The pictures from my first photo shoot were unfortunately fuzzy and slightly out of focus. By the time I noticed, though, it was dark outside. I was SO bummed. But I stored my scrumptious bruschetta mixture in the fridge for later, hoping to get better pictures on another day. I took my bruschetta out today, excited to eat it again, but I was disappointed (but not too surprised) to see how much the tomatoes faded in the refrigerator. I added some fresh basil leaves, but I just can’t make them look as fresh and wonderful as they did the first day. Sigh … I do assure you, though, they are beautiful when fresh and even after a couple days, they still taste delicious!
By the way, those bits of green you see on these little sumptuous bites are my dad’s beautiful Aunt Ruby’s German green tomatoes … when fully ripe, these tomatoes are still a vibrant green, but perfectly sweet and juicy, not tart at all. I have one of these plants in my own garden … I think I may have a ripe one soon! I’m so excited.
- 1 1/4 cups chopped eggplant
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Red Robin Seasoning & fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups cored, chopped heirloom tomatoes (of mixed colors, if you have them!)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- About 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (in little ribbons)
- Toasted French bread or baguette slices
- Softened goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the eggplant in a small bowl with the garlic and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with seasoning (or salt) and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, put the tomatoes (with juices!) in the same bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and toss gently. When the eggplant is done, add it to the tomatoes and toss. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, tossing a couple times, so the eggplant can soak up some of the juices.
- On a cutting board, set several basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up into a log shape. Slice horizontally to create little ribbons. Gently fold the basil ribbons into the tomato bruschetta mixture.
- Toast the bread and spread with goat cheese. Top with bruschetta and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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