Military life often means saying goodbye to dear friends. Lately, our on-base neighborhood has been filled with moving trucks and lots of tears. Some of our closest friends are retiring and moving on after 25 years of service in the Air Force. We’ve shared many wonderful meals full of laughter and good food, a few small road trips, and many thoughts and ideas. Recently, several families got together to say goodbye and my friend made this wonderful, simple dish. It features some of the best summer has to offer. Start with eggplant brushed in ghee and roasted (or grilled) until golden on the edges. Then include one of the most popular combinations out there – fresh mozzarella, juicy summer tomatoes and bright green basil. A few by themselves would make a great dinner or you can serve it alongside some grilled fish or chicken. A bottle of crisp, clean, organic Badger Mountain Riesling makes a great pairing.
So here’s to our dear military friends and their new life:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Roasted Eggplant with Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4” thick rounds
Celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons ghee, melted (click here for an easy homemade recipe)
4 ounces mozzarella, sliced thin
2 tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Place eggplant rounds on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pat them dry with a towel and brush with ghee. Roast for 15 minutes, or until edges are just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes
Top each eggplant round with mozzarella, tomato and basil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve.
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