Saturday, July 24, 2010

Culinary Smackdown - Summer Vegatables

This month's Culinary Throwdown Challenge is being sponsored by Intuitive Eggplant and the theme is SUMMERTIME VEGETABLES. IE was last month's Picnic Smackdown winner (by a country mile) and will also be judge, jury and executive chef. IE asked us to take inspiration from our own gardens and to really stretch our culinary skills. So I will partially do that. First, here's what our garden looked like last weekend.

I'm not sure what kind of eggplant this is, but it isn't quite ready yet, so I bought some Italian eggplant from the local Produce Junction for my 1st dish. We have Early Girls, Beefsteaks and a couple other types of tomatoes that are not shown in the picture and those are what I will use for my 2nd dish.

It was my intention to pair these two dishes together for a nice, mostly vegetable dinner. Of course it didn't work out that way. I had to do the Grilled Eggplant Salad a week early and serve it as a side with another dinner. And for the life of me I can't find the recipe link. I'll do it from memory because it's pretty simple.

I peeled and cut the eggplant into rounds and coated with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I grilled them for about 4 minutes per side. You gotta love the grill marks (and I love my Weber grill).

While they were grilling, i mixed up some red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. I diced up the grilled eggplant and mixed it all up. It came out really good and the Mrs and kids were okay with it.

For my next dish I did a simple fried tomato. The stretch here is that I used Panko bread crumbs instead of Italian bread crumbs. Yeah, I know but it's a stretch for me. I also fry up bacon first so I have bacon grease for the tomatoes. This was the way my mom made them. The kids don't like these so more for me.

Bacon is the first thing I did. Shamu, I'm looking in your direction.

These were excellent with the panko bread crumbs. I will definitely do this again.

This throwdown promises to have huge participation, so swing on over to Intuitive Eggplant to see the rest of the vegetables.


Sharon Rudd said...

Excellent entry, Buzz! The veggies look great, and you know Eggy loves some bacon :) Thanks for playing, and hope you check out the other entries when you have a chance.

chickory said...

oh i bet you didnt choose eggplant to impress eggy did you? grrrherhahaha. its a beautiful little aubergine. the tomatoes look nice and healthy - i see you use weekblocker - how do you like that? i have to weed almost every day - i was thinking of trying some garden fabric next year.
meal looks great

i could have entered this will what i made last night! i just saute squashes and carrots with butter and onions and serve it over vermicelli with some shaved parmesan. mmmm mmmm good! good luck.

moi said...

Mmmmm . . . looks great, Buzz! I love Panko as a coating—and eggplant salad of any kind. Good luck!

Heff said...

Damn ! You kicked our asses ! Panco on the 'maters, huh ?

Nice touch with the eggplants, lol !!!

Being in the South, it's hard to believe Heff has never "grilled an eggplant". I've GOT to try that !

You've got my vote, Buzz !

Jen said...

Tricky tricky. Using eggplant to really get the judge on your side!

Christo Gonzales said...

this looks great - stack em up and make me a sandwich - lotsa bacon in the middle please - in fact make it some kind of "decker" with a lot of layers of bacon!

LaDivaCucina said...

Buzz, your garden looks great! Fresh tomatoes yum!

Yes, I agree with Doggybloggy, make a sammich but toast the bread and add some crunchy iceberg lettuce for a FRIED BLT! Now that's a sandwich! Do you fry the green tomatoes too?

I like grilled eggplant but I am surprised that your family likes it! Only surprising cuz of the things you say they are picky about and eggplant is one of those things either you like or don't! Good job, Buzzy! I also roast red peppers and grill some zuke, layer it on some greens with goat cheese for a summer veggie salad. Hey, I should have made that!

Good luck!

Buzz Kill said...

There is never a bad time for bacon. I'll do my best to get to everyones entries.

You should have entered the pasta dish. Simple always works. Doing the blog takes all the effort. The eggplant was for the Mrs because that's one of the only vegetables she eats. The gratuitous sucking up to IE was gravy.

We like the weed blocker. We did make the mistake this year of not putting blocker between the rows and the weeds got totally out of control there. We won't make that mistake again.

I just started using panko and it makes for a lighter coating on whatever I'm frying. I like it a lot.

I don't know, I think Donna's tomatoes were great. I've been grilling eggplant for a while and it's easy. Oil, salt, pepper and sometimes some parmasian.

Honest, I wasn't kissing up.

I never thought of making a sandwich out of them. It would be a fried BLT - I like that.
I don't like green tomatoes. They have to be blood red for my taste.

The Mrs really likes the eggplant. The kids will eat it but won't ask for it.

Anonymous said...
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Dani said...

Nothing better than eatin' garden goodies!

Karl said...

Good afternoon Buzz Kill,

What a neat way to prepare eggplant I will give it a try.

If you added some lettuce to your tomatoes you would have a warm BLT salad.

Fine presentation.

Christo Gonzales said...

sandwich - did I say sandwich? the smackdown theme is posted