For my birthday earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to receive eight bouquets of flowers (thanks, family + friends!), which is pretty much my love language. I adore fresh flowers, from tulips to roses and everything in between. And scattering these bouquets all around my house made it feel so much more like Spring! What a cheerful, colorful impact fresh flowers can make to any vignette, coffee table, or nightstand. It felt like living in a Spring meadow, and having flowers reminds me how big of an impact a simple bouquet can make in brightening my spirits. It really is the little things in life that can bring the most joy, don’t you think?
I went to my friend Kathryn’s bridal shower recently, which was simple beautiful, and one of the appetizers was something I had never tried before – grilled and marinated eggplant crostini. I had never eaten much eggplant before (I like it, but had never bought it myself), so to be honest, I figured I’d like this appetizer but that it wouldn’t wow me. But boy was I wrong! I devoured this appetizer at the bridal shower, and then I promptly emailed Kathryn to reach out to her aunt for the recipe. It’s a recipe that her aunt got from the Jewish Ghetto in Rome dozens of years ago, so I knew it was pretty special and had been perfected over the years. The day I received the recipe, I ran to Trader Joe’s for the (very basic and easy) ingredients & made it as soon as humanly possible. This grilled and marinated eggplant, served atop garlicky crostini, is divine and oh so additive. Not gonna lie, I ate the entire eggplant (I halved the recipe!) in two days. It’s such an addictive, flavorful recipe, and I promise you’ll love it, too!
Grilled and Marinated Eggplant Crostini
from my friend Kathryn’s aunt’s recipe from Rome!
2 firm, medium purple eggplants
salt & pepper
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus additional olive oil for brushing the eggplant before grilling and toasting the bread
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
red pepper flakes, to taste
3-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced for the eggplant
additional garlic cloves for rubbing the crostini
Slice eggplants into 1/4″-3/8” slices that run across the width or lengthwise. Brush the both sides of each slice with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the slices on both sides. Place grilled slices on a platter or in a casserole dish.
Marinade: Mix together 2/3 c. olive oil, 1/3 c. red wine vinegar, thinly sliced garlic; add red pepper flakes to taste; add a pinch of salt and about 1/2 t. of ground black pepper. Whisk together the ingredients and pour over grilled eggplant slices.
To ensure all slices are marinated, carefully turn slices over. Let sit for at least one hour – overnight is even better.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use good quality Italian peasant-style bread sliced to 1/4” to 3/8” thick. Brush olive oil on both sides of each slice. Place on cookie sheet. Cook for 6-8 minutes, then turn over each slice, so the other side will toast (keep watch so the crostini doesn’t burn). Rub each slice, both sides, with a garlic clove..
Place marinated eggplant on the crostini and enjoy! (You don’t need to refrigerate the leftover eggplant; it will keep, if covered and left on the counter for a couple of days. )