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Zucchini and Eggplant Toss

About this time of year the zucchini threatens to take over all Midwestern garden plots, and invariably I end up with one that looks more like a club that my prehistoric cousins might have used to bring in din-din than a dainty little veggie roasted or sautéed to perfection.

My father-in-law usually brings multiple zucchinis to me and he proudly drops them at my feet wagging his tail as I curse the fact they are too big to camouflage in the trash can or compost pile.

The mammoth saber-toothed green things worked well in his household because my mother-in-law used to make THE best zucchini bread on the planet in current or primeval times. However, zucchini bread might as well be crystal meth to me because it is going to bring about just as much trouble in my life.

My father-in-law hasn’t been down yet this summer, and I don’t even think that he grew a garden this year. I didn’t have room for one more thing in mine so I thought I had narrowly escaped. But alas, one appeared. It sat on my counter mocking me for a week. I even came close to tossing it in the food processer to grate it up for bread. I do after all have that heirloom recipe.

As I finally sliced it in half, I half-hoped that it would be rotten inside. No such luck. Now what? I cut out the seeds and tasted the surrounding flesh to make sure it wasn’t wretchedly bitter. Eh, it would work.

Then I glanced over at the little ichiban eggplants also lining my kitchen counter that seemed to be multiplying every time I left the room, and I remembered walking into Trader Joes the other day as they sampled an eggplant/zucchini dish. I dismissed it at the time because it contained more cheese than either of the veggies featured, which was heavenly, but not quite what I was looking for at the time. Little did I know it might provide a little inspiration.
Below is what I came up with. Feel free to add a cup or more of shredded parmesan cheese if calories/fat are not an issue.

3 cups each of cubed zucchini and eggplant
1 small onion, sliced
2 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 can chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. garlic
½ tsp. salt, optional
Whole wheat pasta

Sautee garlic, onion and fresh herbs over medium heat until onion is translucent. Toss in remaining ingredients, except pasta. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables soften and liquid from tomatoes reduces – about 15 minutes. Pour over cooked pasta.

This would be a great meal to throw in some left-over grilled chicken if you want to add a little protein to the mix. For the vegetarians out there, chickpeas or tofu would also work well.

I normally don’t cook veggies until they are this soft, but this creation more closely resembled a sauce than a side dish of veggies.

Let me know what you think or if you add something else.


One Response

  1. This looks a great dish…. although I would have to call it courgette and aubergine toss 🙂

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