There are a few ingredients I’ve only come to fiiiiinally accept in the last few years.

Beets
Eggplant
Mushrooms

I, with all of my peanut butter lovin heart, hated those things. I’d send dishes back at restaurants if they were on the plate. I’d avoid them at all costs. No amount of butter or cheese could get me to eat them.

And then something happened. A miracle.

I literally woke up one day and liked them, all of them. And then on another day I woke up CRAVING them. I wish I had a good explanation for this. But I don’t.

My favorite was to eat mushrooms are in mushrooms crustads. I don’t have one single beet recipe on here because quite honestly, I usually just add them to my salad at salad bars. And for eggplant, I have fallen in love with simple grilled eggplant. Oh my goodness it is just DEEEELIIIIICIOUS! I ate this salad, dish, side dish, whatever you want to call it, for 3 days straight. And still, I’d eat it today if I had any eggplant lying around.

I made grilled eggplant for some vegetarian friends one night, months ago. They are STILL raving about it. Really, it’s just grilled eggplant??? Oh wellBut I think the trick to making sure your eggplant doesn’t get rubbery and nasty is to let it rest with salt on it to draw out the moisture. Don’t skip that step, or you’ll get rubbery eggplant. Yuck.

Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Stack
Serves 2
Time: 45 minutes

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 large tomato (My CSA box had a MASSIVE tomato, but 2 small ones would be fine)
2 ounces goat cheese (or more, ya, add more, more goat cheese is ALWAYS better)
handful fresh chopped basil
olive oil
lemon pepper
salt

Lay the sliced eggplant on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Wipe off the ‘sweat’ that forms on the top of the slices, flip them, and salt the other side. Let them rest again for 20 minutes. Wipe the sweat. Now they are ready for grilling.

Preheat your grill.

Brush the eggplant with just a thin layer of olive oil, or even just spray some olive oil them. PLace them on the grill and brush the other side with olive oil, then sprinkle with lemon pepper. Grill the first side until dark grill marks form. Do not keep lifting it to check. It will take a good 5-7 minutes, maybe 10, depending on how hot your grill it.

Flip the eggplant and grill for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove from the grill and start stacking your salad. Enjoy right away.

OR, let it cool, then refrigerate and you can literally eat it like a grilled cheese. MMMM, no joke, that might be my favorite way to eat this, with my hands, taking big bites like it’s a sandwich.

Another thing: my husband thought he HATED eggplant. Then he tried this, and he said, without me BEGGING to just indulge me, that he actually liked it. He went back, without any suggestions from me, for seconds. I didn’t do a secret happy dance, I freaking busted a move right there on the kitchen floor I was so excited. Yea, another vegetable I can cook for BOTH of us!