I have recognized a very interesting phenomenon of the vegan challenge. Long held tastes for foods have begun to change dramatically. Just this past weekend I began to believe that this was note worthy after a friend of ours shared that she too had dramatic changes in her taste after going vegan.
I was born a tomato hater. I don’t know how or where this took root, but it did and I never changed my mind. I have always enjoyed the by products of tomatoes like ketchup and pasta sauce, but would not, could not consume a tomato in its raw state. Over the past three months I have not only started to consider eating them, I have begun to seek them out at the market and photographing them incessantly like a first child.
This has been such an exciting off-shoot of going vegan. Cultivating and honoring curiosity is something we only hope for our children. Seldom do we reinvent or revamp parts of our adult lives but it is SO amazingly fun and satisfying. I am enjoying tasting things for what feels like the first time and beginning to adore things that I have always believed I hated. How wonderful is that?
My new favorite tomatos are called Green Zebra. They are an heirloom hybrid that was created in 1980 by Tom Wagner from four different heirloom varieties. They are sweet, tangy and tart. I think they are most delicious when they are brilliant green and firm. They are so incredibly gorgeous in anything you add them to. They look exactly like their name, bright green with a zebra print. Veggies with a sense of style…I like that.
In honor of my new love, I made a rustic Italian salsa to spoon over another new love, eggplant.
I am not kidding…Sandy turned her plate sideways and licked it clean; a stunt usually reserved for dessert. Get these ingredients while you can and rock out this dish. You will not believe how sophisticated and flavorful this simple combination is.
Eggplant Rustica with Italian Salsa
By: S. Boulton & S. Duquet
Italian Salsa Ingredients
1/2 C fresh Basil cut in chiffonade style
2 Small Green Zebra tomatoes seeded and chopped
4 Tiny Heirloom tomatoes (cherry or grape size) chopped
1/4 C beautiful quality balsamic vinegar *Does not need to be expensive…just really tasty by itself.
Make It Happen
~put all ingredients in bowl and toss gently to coat.
~Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving
Eggplant, prepared Sandy style.
2 cups thinly sliced eggplant, cut into medallions (we prefer Japanese, but small eggplants or larger ones work as well)
3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
Make it Happen
Mist the eggplant medallions front and back with spray oil. Only do a couple at a time, because the oil soaks in quickly and you need it to stick to the crumbs. Dust the medallions front and back in breadcrumbs. Heat a large skillet and spray it with oil, or brush it with olive oil if you prefer. Saute the eggplant medallions front and back until golden brown. Usually about 4 minutes each side.
Top with the Italian salsa and bask in the joyful flavors of late summer abundance.
Have a delicious day.
Tags: compassionate eating, cooking with herbs, dairy free, eggplant medallions, eggplant rustica, going veg, green zebra tomato, heirloom tomatoes, Italian Salsa, Tom Wagner, trying vegan, trying vegetarian, vegan, vegan experience, vegan recipe, vegan side dish, vegan wannabe, vegetarian eggplant recipe, vegetarian recipe