Oh gosh…it has been a tough winter here on the U.S. east coast… We are expecting 7 more inches (16cm) of snow! Holy moly! Now I have my excuse to get into the kitchen and cook for a while. Not that I need an excuse but oh well.. it always helps 🙂
Today I am going to cook escalivada. It is a eggplant and red pepper dish, roasted or grilled. Of course on a snowy day like today, no way I’m going outside to grill my veggies. It is a very easy way to eat these delicious vegetables. You can serve them with puff pastry, pie dough, bread… or just by themselves. Today, I will show you how to roast them with goat cheese, so simple and so cheap! Seriously, it’s a great recipe and it will be even better for a cold and snowy day like today.
L’escalivada is originally a dish from Catalonia, where it is very prevalent. Escalivar means “to cook in ashes” because of the traditional preparation in the embers of a wood fire.
Nowadays, people just roast it in the oven, and it’s just as delicious!
You will need:
– 2 red peppers
– 1 large eggplant, or 2 medium (mine was over 1 lb. so one was enough)
– olive oil
– pepper (optional)
– goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 390ºF (200C). While the oven is preheating, place a sheet of parchment paper (or non stick spray) in a cookie sheet or in an oven safe bowl. Generously coat the peppers and eggplant with olive oil. What I do is place a little olive oil on my hands and then I grab one vegetable at time and I coat it with the olive oil. Place them into the oven for about 45 minutes (high altitude will always require more time). After 20 minutes, flip them with tongs just to be sure they are roasting evenly.
Once they´re cooked, let them cool down a little, or you will burn your hands! After 10-15 minutes they´ll be warm enough to handle. Peel the skins at this time. Place the pepper (without the seeds) and the eggplant on a plate and chop them into bite-size pieces.
Ones they´re chopped, season them with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper.
How you serve them is up to you. They can be individual sizes or all on one platter. I like to serve them individually, over small pieces of bread. Either way, the next thing you want to do is place slices of goat cheese over the pepper and eggplant mixture. As much as you want. A little, or a lot- the way I like! Once again, you can also prepare it with puff pastry or pie dough, or just on its own.
I melt the goat cheese with my mini torch, but if you don’t have one, put it back in the oven and bake it for a few minutes on high heat, just enough to brown the cheese. (Keep an eye on it, goat cheese burns easily).
This is a super easy recipe, with just a little preparation required and some time in the oven. This is great as an appetizer or a side , and this recipe would be good for 4-6 people. This recipe is easy to modify. More people, more peppers and eggplant. If you love onion, you can also roast some with the peppers and eggplant.
Now… time to dig in! yummy!