We have lots of eggplant at the moment in the yoga garden, however, last year we didn’t have much success at all with our eggplants and many just went yellow. I have since discovered two things they really need to be productive. They love a rich soil, a deep loam and perhaps more importantly they require generous and regular watering for the one thing that really affects their productivity is infrequent watering. I plant them as early as I can and protect them with little houses made out of old onion sacks to keep them warm and create a little microcosm or mini ecosystem.
But what to do with this abundance…
A fabulous and easy alternative to a bread based bruschetta and much, much more nutritious is this delightful eggplant bruschetta. I am gluten free and have been since I was a teenager as wheat and gluten based food upset my belly, yet this is so delicious, I really don’t feel it is a substitute for bread based bruschetta, but rather a delightful and simple snack or side dish in its own right suitable for everyone.
This is a perfect little dish in late summer as it makes use of an abundance of eggplant and is fantastic way to enjoy all those cherry tomatoes that just seem to pop up year after year all over the garden. Layer it up with lashings of homemade basil pesto, a little salt and pepper,a few sun dried tomatoes and if you like cheese or nutritional yeast flakes. Late summer is a great time for making pesto and dehydrating tomatoes and both are wonderful additions to salads, open sandwiches, and of course, this wonderful eggplant bruschetta so get busy!
For a vegan version sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on instead of cheese.
Serves about 4
- 2 large eggplants
- Celtic or himalayan pink rock salt
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup or more of fresh basil leaves
- 300 gms of cherry tomatoes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of homemade pesto
- 3 or 4 Asian shallots or a 1 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- Seasoning: salt and cracked pepper
- Optional: Goat’s feta or more traditional mozzarella cheese; dehydrated or sun dried tomatoes
- Vegan: try nutritional yeast flakes
- Slice the eggplant onto a plate and sprinkle with salt. Allow to rest for 30 minutes and then rinse with water and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (fan forced) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Brush olive oil onto both sides and on the top brush with pesto.
- Combine the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and balsamic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the mixture evenly onto the eggplant slices.
- Add cheese if using.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cooked through and nice and crispy.
- Add nutritional yeast flakes if using.