Just Eat It: Grilled Eggplant Over Orecchiette

By Stiff
My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my fiancé is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out.

Grilled Eggplant Over Orecchiette

1/4 lb. Beef sirloin

1 Small eggplant

1/2 lb. Orecchiette

1 Plum tomato

1/2 c. English cucumber

1/2 Small shallot

Plain 2% Greek yogurt

Olive oil

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Dried crushed mint

Greek seasoning

1/2 Juice from a lemon

1 T. Apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

Panini Grill


Serving Size 2

Preheat panini grill on high.

Heat 2-3 quarts of water in a pot for pasta and add 3 T. of salt.  Bring to a boil and add pasta and follow cooking instructions on package.

Wash and cut eggplant into small 1” pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.  Coat eggplant with olive oil and add 1 T. greek seasoning, 1 t. garlic powder, 1 t. onion powder and mix together until well coated onto eggplant.

Cut sirloin into small 1” pieces and add to a mixing bowl.  Add 2 T. of greek yogurt to meat, along with 1 T. of greek seasoning, dash of garlic and onion powder and mix together until well combined.

Alternate placement of the eggplant and beef on each skewer.  Place skewers on panini grill and cook for about 5 minutes or until desired grill marks on the eggplant.

While the skewers are cooking, wash cucumber and tomato and shallot.  Cut tomato into small bite size pieces, removing seeds.  Cut cucumber into quarters, length wise and then thinly slice each quarter.  Finely slice 1/2 of a shallot.  Add raw ingredients to a bowl and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and 1 t. dried crushed mint.  Mix together until well combined.

Orecchiette Dressing:

In a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 T. olive oil, 1 T. greek seasoning, 1 t. apple cider vinegar, juice from half of a lemon, 1 T. dried crushed mint, 1 t. garlic powder, 1 t. onion powder, 1/4 tap water.  Mix together and taste.  Continue to season until desired taste.

Once pasta is finished cooking, add it to the dressing in the large mixing bowl.  Mix together until well combined.  Add raw veggies and mix together and set aside.

Remove eggplant and beef from skewers.  Set aside the eggplant.  Cut beef into smaller pieces and add to pasta bowl and mixed together until well combined.

Plate pasta and top with grilled eggplant and enjoy.

You can omit the beef for a vegetarian option.

Cook Time: 1 hour

(Stiff is an amateur home cook and food blogger. Stiff can be found at a grocery store, Instagram @stifferoni and Tumblr: http://stiffers.tumblr.com/.)

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