Eggplant “Meatballs” and a Vitamix Offer!
There are just ten more official days of summer left. But when I look around, most of summer as I knew it has slipped away. School is back in full swing, most of the pools have closed and I think I even spied a squash at the farmers’ market the other day. I looked away quickly, pretending I didn’t see it of course.
Over the last few weeks, while we still have beautiful tomatoes and plentiful eggplant, I’ve been experimenting with a dish I tried on vacation at a popular restaurant in Traverse City, Michigan. Trattoria Stella is a must visit if you are in the area. Call way ahead, leave some time for getting a little bit lost and if you’re easily spooked, be prepared (it’s located in the basement of an old mental health facility and said to be haunted). Boo!
My track record for recreating restaurant meals is spotty at best. I’ve gotten a little better over time. I did okay with this shaved brussels sprouts number. And I believe I downright nailed this kale salad with grains and roasted vegetables. But for my handful of successes, I have many more epic failures. So I mustered up my best guesses and came up with these eggplant “meatballs” and a dandy little tomato sauce to go with it. My family only had to suffer through a couple attempts before I settled on my formula.
Be warned. This is not a Tuesday night dinner. Do not start making this at 6 p.m. when your family is hungry and threatening to eat stale crackers from the back of the pantry. No, no. This is a Sunday supper. Start it in the afternoon. Open a bottle of wine and sip it slowly while reading the paper as the eggplant roasts. Or better yet, go for a walk and clear your head. I don’t care what you do. I just don’t want you to come running back here telling me it was too many steps and too long and too involved. Yes, many of my recipes are quick. Many are designed for the busy person who doesn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. This is not one of them.
Okay, disclaimers have been issued. And now for something fun! Anyone who has been following along for a while knows that I use my blender every day. On most days, I use it two to three times. I make a smoothie for myself, another smoothie for the kids (who have gotten very specific lately!) and then I usually get it out again for some dinner component – soup, sauce, salad dressing or even aioli if I’m feeling fancy. Good news for anyone who has been thinking about getting a Vitamix! I’ve just become a Vitamix affiliate, which means free shipping for you. Just use my special promo code on their website (06-010015) and you’ll save $25 in the U.S. or $35 in Canada. It’s a big purchase but in my experience, it pays for itself pretty quickly.