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Grilled Eggplant Carpaccio Stuffed with Arugula and Fontina and a *Free* Bottle of Olive Oil

52

August 19, 2012

Recipe:Grilled Eggplant Carpaccio Stuffed with Arugula and Fontina

Living in the city, I find that I’m often on guard. This is especially true in my neighborhood, which proudly boasts the most diverse zip code in the USA, but also has the (not so) occasional high-speed car race / gun fight. It’s not really that bad…this is Seattle we’re talking about after all, not Detroit or St. Louis, but it’s also not leave your windows open, drop your bikes in the front yard, walk alone at midnight, small town Americana.

One of my favorite Summer Salads: Mozzarella, Basil, and Heirloom Tomatoes, Drizzled with Olive Oil and Finished with Salt and Pepper

This is why the friendships that we’ve built with the people in our neighborhood are so extraordinary. Perhaps it takes a certain type of person to live in a transitional neighborhood, so there’s some kind of natural pre-selection, but in our little microcosm of the city we’ve managed to create a small town feel, where keys to each other’s homes are shared, dog walks are traded, and calling the neighbor for a cup of sugar is welcomed and often completed with a glass of wine to boot.

In the summer this results in impromptu BBQs, days at the lake, and of course the inevitable doggy play dates. All the gals have made a pact that they won’t fuss about cleaning their house before others come over (though this goes against every bone in my body and occasionally results in an eye twitch), and we’ve all become comfortable enough in each other’s kitchens that taking over a quick salad production or setting the table is second nature.

Getting ready for our most recent feast…three hours of eating, drinking, and laughing. The food was pretty dang good too.

 

Perhaps somewhere deep, deep inside me I’ve got some Italian grandmother or something, because I love nothing more than feeding a crowd. Sitting outside with finally snoring puppies at our feet, as evening sets in, and the fire begins to crackle, feels like near perfection.

These appetizers are admittedly a bit of work, but are such a wonderfully unexpected combination of flavors I find myself craving them often. The combination of a mandolin and sliced fontina cuts down on the preparation time significantly, and with a few extra hands these can be quickly whipped together.

GIVEAWAY: The olive oil you use in these is key, which is why I’m very excited to be able to offer one reader a bottle of their choice from the spectacular California Olive Ranch. I’m partial to the Arbequina, which is what I used in this dish, but they have a wonderful selection pending on what you want to do with it. Will happily ship anywhere in the United States.

HOW TO ENTER: Simply share this post using whatever social media channel you prefer (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Messenger Pigeon) and then provide the link to your share in the comment section. Easy as that!

DEADLINE: Friday, August 24th. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday the 27th.

Grilled Eggplant Carpaccio Stuffed with Arugula and Fontina
Makes approximately 15 – 20 appetizers, pending on the size of the eggplant, but these things go like hot cakes, so plan accordingly

Grilled Eggplant Carpaccio, Stuffed with Fontina and Arugula and Drizzled with Arbequina Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

 

1 large eggplant, top and bottom chopped off

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, best you can afford, I used California Olive Ranch because I’m currently obsessed with their Arbequina variety

Coarse Salt & Pepper

Sliced fontina cheese (if pre-sliced size cut in half so doesn’t lay over the eggplant)

1/2 bag baby arugula

Balsamic vinegar

  1. Using a mandolin, cut the eggplant lengthwise into thin strips and place slices on a cookie sheet.
  2. Brush each side generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat BBQ and grill eggplant on both sides for about 4-6 minutes or until soft and nicely marked.
  5. Place cheese in center of each eggplant slice and keep on grill until cheese begins to melt.
  6. Remove from grill and return to cookie sheet.
  7. Place small bunch of arugula, perpendicularly, on top of each slice and roll up lengthwise.
  8. Drizzle with more olive oil and balsamic and serve warm or room temperature.

52 comments »

  1. Allison says:

    This sounds great! And I’m excited to enter your giveaway too… I cannot live without olive oil, and fancy versions of olive oil are always a treat!

    I just shared your recipe on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/pin/17803360997886298/

    • Erina says:

      Thanks so much Allison! Excited to check out what you’ve got going on Pinterest as well. Good Olive Oil is definitely a treat…and I think the California Olive Ranch is really delicious!

  2. Maggie says:

    i put it on the facey-b :)

  3. Erina that sounds like the perfect neighborhood to me and what a gorgeous starter!

  4. Maman says:

    Just the inspiration needed for a “farewell to summer” dinner planned for family friends In Ipswich this week. This gourmet appreciating Mama will be making them with Appleton eggplant and a wistful glance to the most diverse zip in USA

  5. Pat White says:

    Would love to live in that king of neighborhood. Salad sounds wonderful!

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Pat. It’s a pretty unique neighborhood…for sure. I’ve definitely never experienced anything like it, but glad that I am now! Thanks for stopping by…always love new readers to Shut Up & Cook!

  6. Selby says:

    Hey! I just read your blog because it was posted on the Hillman City facebook page of which I am a proud member. Super fun to read and very inspiring. My husband and I live over on 37th and have our own little blog about remodeling our house. http://thisuglyoldhouse.blogspot.com/ Glad to have you in the ‘hood and say hi if you wander by the house with the purple door.
    -Selby

    • Erina says:

      Love meeting more people from the neighborhood…albeit virtually. Pending how many posts you read you’ll know i’ve got two fabulous dogs who I’m often strolling the neigbhorhood with, so if you see a gal with a pitt and a mastiff that are cute as can be…(the dogs, not me) odds are you’ve found us! Excited to check out your blog…thanks for stopping by!

  7. this looks delicious- and beautiful!

  8. [...] content HomeMeMeal Plan StrategyMeal PlansRandom ThingsRecipe Index ← Grilled Eggplant Carpaccio Stuffed with Arugula and Fontina and a *Free* Bottle of Olive&nbsp… August 24, 2012 · 4:33 am ↓ Jump to [...]

  9. elise says:

    I love a good olive oil… http://pinterest.com/pin/156851999493008166/

    And, Detroit isn’t as bad as people seem to think :(

  10. Brandi says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. Happy to follow yours! What a beautiful dish!!

  11. Randy says:

    This is wonderful, beautiful colorful food. I love the first image, makes the plated food even more enticing.

    I don’t have many followers at this time but I am going to make mention of your Meal Plans and Strategy pages on my Face Book page (Savor the Food). You have a great recipe selection page and they all look like very wholesome healthy eating.

    Chef Randall
    savorthefood.wordpress.com

    • Shut Up & Cook says:

      Thanks Randy, so glad you’re enjoying the blog. This appetizer recipe is absolutely spectacular. I’ve probably made it a dozen or so times and people always go nuts for it. Thanks for sharing!

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