Sometimes, change is a good thing.
Funny story. . when I began Meatless Mondays or cutting back on the beef here at the house, I didn’t tell my husband. I wrote it here on the blog. After a few weeks, he asked what was going on and then he began reading my blog. And now, fast forward several months, the Husband is doing fine. He actually got a check-up/physical a couple months ago and is doing great health-wise. He doesn’t complain as much anymore when he sees mushrooms or eggplant instead of beef or chicken.
And tonight, he ate these very quickly and told me how good they were. *Insert proud, happy wife.*
Now, don’t get me wrong. This does not mean he would reach for a veggie burger now instead of a big, fat, juicy burger with a big slab of meat. He still loves his meat, we’re just cutting back a little. And getting to know our vegetables more.
“So, change is usually a good thing.”
I’m trying to remember this as we embark on a new journey for our family. It looks like we will have to move from this new home of ours. Do I want to leave Seattle? No. But like my daughter says, “You can’t always get what you want.” This is usually something she says to her younger sister, Madeline. We are at the mercy of my husband’s job. Where to? Well, we are not completely sure yet. We are trusting and waiting. But, we do have options so we are very thankful.
There will definitely be a post when we know for sure.
Just like everyone else, the thought of change brings on uncertainty, worry, anxiety, stress and for me, the ultimate list maker, pages and pages of a list of things I will have to do or think about once we know.
But until that moment arrives, I’m going to enjoy the present. The here and now. And these freaking fantastic Eggplant and Arugula Pesto Sliders. If you are an eggplant lover, you must also check out my Eggplant Caprese and my Eggplant and Pasta Incaciata. In fact, it was watching this episode of Extra Virgin again that inspired me to make these sliders.
So, on your next Meatless Monday, be sure to give these a try. The flavorful, crispy eggplant, paired with tomato sauce and this fabulous arugula pesto will make you smile and believe me, you won’t be missing any beef at all.
I hope you enjoy!
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 1-1½ cups good extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Combine the arugula, basil, garlic, pine nuts and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil (I used about a cup) and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and pulse for another minute. You can add the salt into the food processor or you can season later when serving. Up to you!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) + more if needed
- 1 medium to small sized eggplant, cut crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups tomato sauce or marinara sauce; store bought or homemade
- 2 cups arugula pesto
- 8 slider buns or rolls; toasted
- 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
- Preheat your broiler to high.
- Set up dredging station for your eggplant: Place flour, eggs and panko in a three separate shallow dishes. Sprinkle each eggplant slice evenly with a little salt on both sides. Dredge both sides of the eggplant slices in the flour; then the egg, and lastly in the panko. Place the breaded eggplant slices on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray or on a prepared non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Broil the eggplant for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer eggplant slices to a plate.
- Place marinara in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until hot; or heat on the stove. Keep warm.
- To assemble your sliders: Toast the slider buns. Spread some arugula pesto on the bottom bun, top with one tomato slice, one eggplant slice and then slather on some tomato sauce and/or more arugula pesto. Top with the other half of the slider bun and enjoy!