Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps

grilled Mediterranean vegetable wraps cut

I have a confession to make. The hubs and I have developed quite the hummus addiction. All kinds really, but our hummus of choice is currently the white bean and basil hummus from Trader Joe’s. Seriously. Between the 2 of us, the container will not last 2 days in this house. I want to try to make a copy-cat version at home as we are going there several times a week to get it. Will share if we are successful with the recipe!

These wraps fulfill 2 requirements for us right now – 1) they contain hummus, 2) they are super quick. This is really more of a method than a recipe as you could use any veggies or any hummus that you desire. The recipe is written for onions, red bell peppers, and eggplant, but you could certainly swap in any veggies you would like to grill (like zucchini rather than eggplant). One tip I have for grilling onions – slice them thick (1/2-inch) and thread them onto a skewer. When the onion cooks, it shrinks, and this prevents the rings from falling all over the grill. Enjoy!

grilled Mediterranean vegetable wraps

(Printable Recipe)

Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2012

Ingredients:
4 (1/2-inch) slices red onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch slices (other veggies if desired)
Non-stick spray
1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 (8oz) container of your favorite hummus
4 flatbreads or large whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Heat a large grill pan or an outdoor grill over medium heat. Thread the onion slices the long way (through all the rings) onto 2-3 skewers to make it easier to grill. Spray vegetable pieces with nonstick spray. Add to preheated grill, turning at 2-3 minutes until softened and slightly charred. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and roughly chop. Combine vegetables, olive oil, parsley, and salt. Toss to combine.

Spread hummus over each wrap leaving a 1/2-inch boarder around the edges. Divide vegetables and Feta cheese amongst the wraps. Tuck in the ends and roll up the wraps. Enjoy whole or cut in half.

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Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

Eggplant. That word may still be enough to strike a fair amount of fear into this household. If you’ve read my blog over the past couple of months, you may know that our garden gave us a fair number of eggplant from late summer into fall. Too many. Enough that I was actually considering leaving a bag of them on my neighbor’s doorsteps! Our plants have since died out in the cooler temperatures so this may be one of the last eggplant recipes that you see from me for awhile.

The basic idea for this dish comes from Isabelle of Crumb, however I pre-cooked the eggplant based on a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. In CI, they explain that cooking with eggplant has 2 problems: 1) It has a fair amount of water that when baked, will water down your dish, and 2) It’s full of air pockets that will soak up any oil that is used in the dish. Their solution? Wrapping it in paper towels and pre-cooking it in the microwave for a few minutes before adding it to the dish. The cooking time collapses the air pockets, leaving no room for the oil, and the paper towels will soak up any extra water. Makes perfect sense, and it is so easy that I may never make an eggplant dish without first doing this step.

Out of all the things that we made with our eggplant, this dish is my favorite. The ingredients are pretty unassuming – eggplant, pasta, a homemade tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella, but the combination is stellar. Good enough that I’d even consider planting another plant again. Well, maybe in a few months. Just remind me at that time that it is not a good idea to grow 6 plants of 1 type of vegetable for only 2 people 🙂

(Printable Recipe)

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake
Adapted from Crumb and cooking methods from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. whole wheat rigatoni, ziti, or penne pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14oz) low-sodium diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
generous pinch red pepper flakes
about 1/3-lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss eggplant with the salt in a large bowl. Line surface of a plate with a double layer of paper towels or coffee filters. Spread eggplant in even layers over filters. Microwave eggplant, uncovered, until dry to touch and slightly shriveled, about 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through to ensure that the eggplant cooks evenly. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, boil water to cook the pasta. Cook al dente, as directed by the package. Drain and rinse under cold water when finished cooking. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browning, about 8-10 minutes. Add eggplant and cook 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Add the tomatoes with juices, red wine, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes to the eggplant mixture. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Pour into a prepared 1-quart baking dish. Distribute the sliced mozzarella over the pasta and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is starting to brown. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.