Dinner – Eggplant, tofu, and tomato stacks

Ah, the joys of working from home. Getting up later. No worries about commuting, train delays, annoying people, and social interaction. Having a beer with lunch that you made, on your own, quiet deck. One (by which I mean me) could easily get accustomed to that lifestyle, but that’s another show (cue Good Eats theme).

Yesterday is also CSA day, where our CSA farmer delivers the weekly goods to the pick-up location. It was a treat for me to go (after driving by three times till i actually recognized the place) and pick out our items for the week – onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, fennel, sweet corn, haricots verts, and parsley – without having to worry about who’s behind me, or if they weren’t fresh.

with this newfound bounty, and a container of Trader Joe’s extra-firm tofu, i made the following:

  1. took the tofu out of the container, drained off all the water, then wrapped in paper towels and covered with a brick wrapped in aluminum foil to remove most of the liquid.
  2. In a 12″ saute pan, sauteed an onion, then added one of the peppers, cut into rounds (or as round as peppers get).
  3. Added the sliced eggplant to the pan, and cooked until brown on both sides.
  4. Note that each layer gets its own sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper.
  5. while this was happening, i sliced the two tomatoes (small-to-medium sized) into rounds, about 1/2 an inch thick.
  6. I also stuck mini fresh mozzarella balls in the freezer to harden, so they’re easier to slice.
  7. at this point, i placed some balsamic vinaigrette in a non-stick saucier to simmer and reduce to a sauce.
  8. when the onions, eggplant, and tofu were done, i removed them from the pan. i then added some corn oil to the pan, and fried the tofu on both sides.
  9. the tofu became a base for two separate stacks. i placed the biggest slices of tomato on top of the tofu, then stacked in the following order:
  10. basil leaves (from S’s garden), mozzarella, eggplant, pepper. i then repeated until everything was used up. The tomato only yielded eight slices, so there were two stacks on each plate.
  11. i then topped with the remaining tofu, and drizzled the balsamic reduction over it.

a great summer meal, which could easily be made vegan by eliminating the cheese.

for dessert, we had corn on the cob on our deck. 🙂

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