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Eggplant Recipe Contest Winner: Farmers' Market Crostini

Photos by Shane Redsar
Photos by Shane Redsar

After much hemming and hawing and tasting and tasting again, Hollywood Farmer's Kitchen chef Ernest Miller and I finally decided on our recipe winner: Farmers' Market Eggplant Crostini, created by Sheila Murray of Chico. Not only is this simple dish quite delicious, but it truly embodies summer. It's versatile, too: put it in a pita and make a sandwich of it, or, for true veggie lovers, just eat it as a salad.

About to roast some vegetables
About to roast some vegetables

Sheila has won the following locally-made prizes:

  • A jar each of Champagne Garlic and Hong Kong Habanero mustards from San Diego's Sono Trading Company

  • Three different chocolate brittles (with ingredients like bourbon and smoked salt and herbes de Provence) from Morning Glory Confections in L.A.

  • A selection of gluten-free protein bars from Culver City's Papa Steve's Bars.

  • Cascabel sauce, Red Mole, and Black Mole from San Angel Mole in L.A.

  • A set of summery salts and spices from Spice Station in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood.
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We'll be doing a recipe contest every month, so check back for the next challenge. Hint: does fruit only belong in dessert? But first, on to the winning recipe!

Farmers' Market Eggplant Crostini
Makes about 36 crostini
1 pound eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into ½-inch dice
1 zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into ½-inch dice
1 red bell pepper
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
¼ cup olive oil, divided
½ cup small dice red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced

Ernest likes to rub olive oil on bell peppers before roasting them on the stove. It looks cool -- just be careful not to burn yourself!

Crostini
1 baguette, sliced into ½-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. For easy clean up, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with eggplant, zucchini and whole red pepper. Drizzle vegetables with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes. Place red pepper in a closed paper or plastic bag for 10 minutes. Remove from bag, peel, seed and stem the pepper. Cut pepper into ½-inch dice.

In a medium bowl, mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Add vegetables to dressing; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon eggplant mixture onto crostini and serve.

For Crostini
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the bread is light golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.