Spinning Italian

I just saw that this is my 900th post. No pressure.

We've been having some great trips to the farmer's market lately, wherein we have stocked up on blueberries and brussels sprouts (try this recipe) and have hotly anticipated the arrival of corn and peaches. One of my favorite seasonal items just popped up last week: fairy tale eggplant. It's lavender and white, tiny, cute, and has a wonderful mild, sweet flavor. My favorite way to cook eggplant is to roast it, and roasted fairy tale eggplant is so sweet and delicious, I want to put it in/on everything.

First up: eggplant puff pastry pizza from a few nights ago. I knew I wanted to do something with eggplant, Swiss cheese, and puff pastry, and then I decided that making a pizza was the way to go. I unfolded the thawed puff pastry, topped it with roasted eggplant, Swiss and mozzarella cheese, and halved grape tomatoes, then baked it on a cookie sheet at 450F until it was golden and bubbling. The puff pastry around the outside was delicious, but the toppings were so heavy that it didn't really rise in the middle, so next time I might try baking it for a few minutes before I put the toppings on. Still, it worked as it was. And it was one of those nights that I was happy to be growing fresh basil in my backyard. Jack and I happily gobbled it up, and Kent ate some sort of leftover something. He often eats the same food we do, but sometimes I'm compelled to make something extra-delicious even if I know he won't eat it.

I roasted the rest of the eggplant tonight and decided to put a spin on lasagna and use up some wonton wrappers I had in the fridge, and I made mini lasagnas. I saw Giada do something similar with full-sized lasagna noodles, folding them over inside a muffin tin and layering with sauce and cheese, but I thought wonton wrappers might make it even easier to make them in muffin tins. I layered ricotta herb sauce, tomato sauce, roasted veggies, pepperoni, and cheese with the wontons in each muffin cup, and I baked them at 375F for about 20 minutes. They were cheesy and delicious, and since I sprayed each muffin cup and the wontons came all the way up the sides, they came out really easily and went into our mouths even easier. It's a great thing to make if the people in your family eat different sorts of foods, like if your husband eats veggies but no meat, and your son likes pepperoni but not vegetables. (I ate three with a salad, just to give you an idea of portion size.)

I get so inspired by seasonal ingredients that I often think I ought to be more led by farmer's market finds than I am, working to incorporate more than just one or two seasonal ingredients into our meals. I'm getting there.

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I can see it now -- an "Iron Chef" episode with Fairy Tale Eggplant! Can you think of a way to use it in dessert? ;-)
Both things look incredible, Erica! The muffin tin wonton wrapper lasagnas are ingenious.
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