Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bruschetta, Again? The Spicy Garden Variety

Those of you who know me, expect that most of my meals will be inspired by my travels.  On my return from my first trip to Italy my repertoire expanded with many Italian influenced recipes and my own creations.  I love the simplicity of Italian food and look forward to this time of year when fresh ingredients start to show up in the markets.  And before long, most veggies will be coming from my backyard garden!

Bruschetta are usually appetizers, but in this case they were hardy enough to be a complete meal.


12 slices of a baguette or 6 slices of French (oops) bread cut in half will do

2 cups eggplant, peeled and cubed

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

1/2 cup portabello mushrooms, cubed

olive oil (for the bottom of pan and to brush the bread before toasting)

fresh basil, a handful chopped

fresh spinach, a handful chopped

fresh parsley, a smaller handful, chopped

2 Italian sausages, precooked and chopped (I had some from the previous night.  Optional)

Set oven to broil.  On a cookie sheet, arrange the bread, brush with oil and broil until light brown.  Remove and you can rub with additional garlic clove, if you wish.  In a large skillet, cover the bottom with the olive oil.  On medium high heat add the eggplant, cook and stir until softened.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, onion, basil,  spinach, and parsley and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes on a lower heat (medium).  Add the sausage at the end, mix and pile onto the bread slices.  I added a sprinkle of goat cheese before serving. Perfect for first course or an entire meal with a nice glass of Chianti!

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