Ahhh summer! Please let it never end.
The time I've spent away from the blog has done me well. I'm trying to soak in every last ray of sunshine which means I've had to step away for awhile. But even though I've been a bit lazy, I haven't been uninspired. I can't get enough of summer fruits and veggies right now and I may be seriously suffering from a horrible case of watermelon overload. It's ok though, because it's soon to be remedied by ridiculous amounts of these grilled eggplants doused in heaping spoonfuls of romesco sauce.
Originating in Spain, romesco sauce is made with red peppers and any variety of nuts such as almonds or pine nuts, garlic, red wine vinegar, tomato puree or paste and blended together. There are many variations of the sauce but those basic ingredients are the crux of this dish. You can use pre-packed roasted peppers for this recipe (preferably ones that are packed in water not vinegar) which makes whipping up this sauce so quick and easy, not to mention healthy. I love the fact that you can make the sauce your own by throwing in ingredients such as capers, olives and/or different types of herbs.
It's traditionally served with fish but works really nice (I mean seriously good, lick the plate nice) served over vegetables like eggplant and zucchini. I think it's the perfect way to jazz up vegetables and make them the star of your plate. The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for a few days so it's perfect for entertaining.
I slice the eggplant on the thicker side, season and grill it until perfectly charred.
It's all topped with fresh herbs, fresh feta cheese and some gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes. I serve it with some crusty toasted bread from the grill and go to town!
Grilled Eggplant with Romesco Sauce
- 2 eggplant slice about ½ inch thick
- 3 about 6 oz. roasted peppers freshly roasted or pre-packed in water
- ½ cup slivered almonds preferably toasted
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + more for eggplant
- dash of chili pepper flakes
- crumbled feta cheese for topping
- fresh herbs for topping
- handful fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes for topping
- coarse salt
- fresh ground pepper
- To make the romesco sauce: in a food processor or blender combine roasted peppers, oil, almonds, capers, garlic, vinegar, chili flakes and tomato paste and pulse until smooth but still with tiny pieces of ingredients visible.
- Set sauce aside.
- Lightly oil and heat up a grill or grill pan on medium high.
- Season eggplant with salt, pepper and lightly rub eggplant slices with olive oil.
- Transfer to grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side or until golden and grill marks appear.
- Transfer to a platter and top with romesco sauce, herbs, feta and tomatoes.
- Serve with some grilled crusty bread. *optional