Friday, October 24, 2008

Eggplant Antipasto

Last weekend, Pat and Sue hosted their annual fall party. This year's theme was Italian. Pat has recently retired and is spending all him time and money creating a beautiful Tuscan courtyard. Kenny and I were amazed at the transformation. The backyard is surrounded by a stucco wall complete with shuttered windows and a beautiful wood entry door. Along the back is a covered area with a tile roof. Plans include massive landscaping and a fountain.
As always, the food was delicious. I do believe Sue had been cooking for a week and my favorite was the Steak Marsala. For the occasion, I opted for a tradition antipasto. Since I had one last eggplant from the garden, I tried Eggplant Antipasto. Teamed with prosciutto, mortadella and crostini for a delicious appetizer. This is also delicious served warm over pasta.

Eggplant Antipasto
1 large or 2 small eggplants, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 8-ounce package sliced baby portabello mushrooms
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sliced green olives
1 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9x12 inch baking pan, mix the vegetables and olive oil. Cover and bake for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and continue baking for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Remove the cover for the last 1o minutes of baking. Chill and serve with crostini or crackers.