Eggplant muffuletta-type stuff ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

21 December 2007

Eggplant muffuletta-type stuff

We are flying to Ohio for holiday business this morning. Snow! Snow!

Oh yeah, food.

If you have half a baguette rapidly going stale:

Eggplant muffuletta-type deal.

tomato sauce
olive oil
the half a baguette/other decent bread

First, cut the eggplant into thin slices. The amount here heavily depends on how many people you want to feed. We were making two sandwiches, so used about half a standard large eggplant. Make enough slices to fill whatever sandwich you want. The slices should be seriously thin, less than a quarter of an inch. Sear them in olive oil, turning as the sides get brown. Ooh, pretty!

At the same time, in a different pan, soften chopped shallot (or onion, or garlic, or a combination) in some more olive oil. When they are soft, add some type of tomatoes and some basil. I like tomato puree for nice soft thick texture, but whatever texture you like will work. Add salt and pepper and cook a bit, until tomato sauce has absorbed nice shallot and etc flavor.

Cut a baguette into appropriate pieces lengthwise. Brush them with more olive oil if you don't feel like this is plenty already.

Assemble: spread tomato business on each piece of bread. Add eggplant slices. If you want more tomato, you can add it on top of the eggplant slices. If you are in need of cheese or something, you can add it here as well. You might want to wait on nuts in particular until the last couple minutes under the broiler, though, since they can burn easily. I advocate pine nuts in this situation.

So. Put the baguette halves on a baking sheet and slide the under the broiler until everything is hot and toasty. Then take them out, sandwich them into sandwiches, wait until you won't totally burn the roof of your mouth off, and eat them.

If these weren't already tomato, I would say to eat them with tomato soup. Tomato! You are a summer vegetable, but the whole act of preservation makes you in character with a winter setting. In fact, considering food preparation and preservation methods, tomato has clearly been one of the winners for preservation and reuse in winter due to acidity. Tomato is in fact heritagenous as a winter food. It is strange, but still. "Strange but true!" I find it very interesting how food preservation methods have kept tomato as a winter food as well as a summer for hundreds of years, so much so as to make tomato soup not just something you have when you feel sick or whatever, but a serious bestselling store brand. Everyone has a taste for hot hot tomato soup in winter. It is clearly time to actually start canning.

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