The first thing that you notice with this dish is it's amazing colors. I'm making this at the beginning of Spring but it is definately something that would be wonderful on a hot summer evening when the vegetables are at their peak freshness. I have to emphasize how easy this recipe is.
It calls for the eggplant to be grilled or done under a broiler, which I chose to do since the wind was ready to blow me off of my deck today. The result in the broiler was perfectly fine. One very important step is to make sure the eggplant has time to release it's juices after being cooked. I let it sit for about half an hour after removing it from the broiler.
During this time it needs to be over a strainer. It was a very quick recipe with most of the time involved actually during the straining process. I used a very good olive oil, and added the salt at the last moment before serving just like Marcella recommends.
You can serve it as a salad or on toast, so I served it bruschetta style. I used a whole wheat baguette that I brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven for about 5 minutes. I topped it with my pepper, cucumber and eggplant mixture and garnished with parsley. The presentation was very colorful.
The only thing that could have improved it was the state of my vegetables due to the fact that it isn't peak season for the peppers and what I had to choose from at the supermarket wasn't ideal. This will definately be pulled back out and done to it's glory in July when the vegetables can do the recipe it's justice. It was a great way to start the cooking challenge, simple, fresh and giving me the time to focus on the harder task of learning how to blog, which I might add I am not a fan of. I try to steer clear of technology whenever possible. You won't see me using gadgets, or shortcuts in the kitchen either. Let that explain my out of focus shots and my obvious lack of computer savvy that I display in the next year of our cooking challenge. I am much more comfortable behind my stove than behind my computer. If only you could taste the recipes instead of only see my sad idea of food photography. With that explained...bring on the next recipe!